prepp

IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains 2021 Preparation Strategy for Public Administration Optional

Updated On -

Mar 22, 2021

Sudeshna Bhar's profile photo

Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

Public administration is one of the 48 optional subjects offered by the UPSC. As per the report, approx 50% of the recommended candidates choose public administration as the optional subject in IAS(UPSC CSE) Mains exam.

Every year, nearly 3000 appeared candidates take this subject as the optional subject and Unlike other subjects, public administration has a consistent success rate of 10.5% in the IAS(UPSC CSE) Mains exam.

The optional subject is divided into 2 papers carrying 250 marks in each paper. In the following article, the preparation tips, booklist, and question trends of UPSC public administration have been discussed.

Topic Wise Analysis

Topic-wise Analysis of UPSC Public Administration Optional

Before jumping into the preparation, candidates should check the weightage of each section in the exam. This will help you to analyze the importance of the topics.

Unit Questions worth marks
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Evolution of Indian Administration 20 40 - 30 10
Philosophical and Constitutional Framework of Government 50 30 50 20 20
Public Sector Undertaking 10 10 20 20 10
Union Government and Administration 30 60 30 30 30
Plan and Priorities - 10 20 30 10
State Government and Administration 60 30 50 50 40
District Administration 20 20 30 10 20
Civil Services 30 30 30 30 10
Financial Management 40 30 10 60 50
Administrative Reforms since Independence 50 20 50 20 10
Rural Development 20 20 10 10 70
Urban Local Development - 30 40 10 20
Law and Order Administration 30 20 50 50 30
Significant Issues in Indian Administration 40 50 10 30 60

Topic-wise Analysis for Public Administration Paper-II

In the following table, the topic-wise weightage has been discussed which will give an idia of which topic is more important:

Unit Questions worth marks
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Evolution of Indian Administration 20 40 - 30 10
Philosophical and Constitutional Framework of Government 50 30 50 20 20
Public Sector Undertaking 10 10 20 20 10
Union Government and Administration 30 60 30 30 30
Plan and Priorities - 10 20 30 10
State Government and Administration 60 30 50 50 40
District Administration 20 20 30 10 20
Civil Services 30 30 30 30 10
Financial Management 40 30 10 60 50
Administrative Reforms since Independence 50 20 50 20 10
Rural Development 20 20 10 10 70
Urban Local Development - 30 40 10 20
Law and Order Administration 30 20 50 50 30
Significant Issues in Indian Administration 40 50 10 30 60
Mains Tips

Check IAS (UPSC CSE) Public Administration Paper-I Question paper

Check IAS (UPSC CSE) Public Administration Paper-II Question paper

Topic-wise Preparation Tips for Public Administration of IAS (UPSC CSE) Mains

There are paper 1 and paper 2 for optional paper. By keeping in mind certain key strategies, you can ensure that the preparation is completed in minimum time with maximum grasp on the subject.

Topic-wise Preparation Tips for UPSC Public Administration Paper-I

Introduction

  • Sharma and Sadana is the best book for studying the introduction in-depth.
  • You can supplement the studies and make notes by referring to Mohit Bhattacharya which has a more precise and objective-type approach.
  • IGNOU notes are very helpful for a comprehensive study of the introduction to public administration.

Administrative Thoughts

  • This is a conceptual chapter and hence you will have to be familiar with the different theories.
  • Prasad and Prasad is the best reference book for this purpose.
  • The references and quotes should be used strategically and should not overshadow the actual answers.
  • Also, correlate the theories with the contemporary situation as well as the background of the scholar to prepare a thoroughly informative and enriched answer that covers all the possible perspectives.

Administrative Behavior

  • This topic is covered exhaustively in Sharma and Sadana, making it the only reference you will need for preparing this chapter.
  • You can make a number of short notes from this section which can also be used for later chapters to substantiate your answers better.

Organizations

  • Except for PPP which is explained better in Fadia and Fadia, you can find all other topics from Sharma and Sadana.
  • The topics are very dynamic and there is a lot of scopes to relate them for your answers and note-making for paper-2.
  • For examples and case studies, use the Indian context rather than the international ones.

Accountability and control and administrative law

  • Civil society, the Right to information, citizen charters, etc. are important topics from this chapter.
  • Use both international and national developments to substantiate your answers heavily with examples.
  • Also, research on small case studies and make notes on them which you can implement in the answers you prepare for this section.

Comparative Public Administration and Development Dynamics

  • Ramesh K Arora is an excellent book to refer to for this chapter specifically.
  • The questions are rather tricky from this section but when you have a clear conception which is possible by referring to Arora, you will be able to tackle them better.

Cross

For this section, cultural examples are very much appreciated in the public administration paper.

Personnel Administration

  • This is an important chapter and for the past two-three years, there have been quite a few questions from here.
  • While practicing the answer writing for this chapter, you can correlate it with the IAS(UPSC CSE) general studies papers.
  • ARC reports and recommendations of other relevant committees can be used for examples in the answers for this section.

Public Policy

  • Notes of IGNOU BA and MA public policy cover this chapter extensively and going through the modules will be sufficient to cover the topic better.
  • Magazines like Kurukshetra and Yojana and newspapers give the latest development and information on these topics and are ideal for citing as examples.

Techniques of Administrative Improvement

  • Mohit Bhattacharya covers the topic in a rather scanty manner and you can get enough ideas from here to find relevant internet sources that are more detailed.
  • On the positive side, there is not much marks weightage from this chapter and you can come up with unique points for any question that is asked.

Financial Administration

  • This is a crucial chapter and there is a major mark weightage from this section. Moreover, it can be related to financial management in Public Administration Paper-2. Make notes that are a consolidation of theoretical financial administration and Indian financial management.

Topic-wise Preparation Tips for UPSC Public Administration Paper-II

The basic structure of the answers for paper-2 must focus on the preamble and constitution. Here are the topic wise tips for Public Administration Paper-II:

Evolution of Indian Administration

  • It is a very scoring section though there is hardly any scope to express your perspective and create unique answers.
  • Refer to Rajni Goyal and Arora for preparing this chapter well. You can expect at least one question from this chapter every year.

Philosophical and Constitutional Framework of the Government

Answers written for this topic should be correlated with the constitution and the present parliamentary enactments for a more enriched approach.

Undertakings of Public Sector

  • Fadia and Fadia are the best references for this topic. However, you will be able to make the best note by referring to the internet for the latest developments related to this chapter.
  • Basic understanding and revision along with case studies and examples are the keys to writing quality answers for this chapter.

Union Government and Administration

Quote current practices and parliamentary systems as well as compare them to the systems of the USA and UK to enrich your notes for this section.

Plans and Priorities

  • You can expect questions on Niti Aayog this year.
  • It is also an important topic for the UPSC General Studies Papers and you can draw the comparison with the Planning Commission.
  • Correlate the current affairs from Yojana and newspapers to prepare for this section.

District administration since independence

  • Fadia and Fadia, Rajini Goyal, and Arora cover all the relevant subtopics for this chapter.
  • Newspapers will also be helpful for this chapter.

State government and Administration

  • There is a lot of scope for coming up with new and unique perspectives in this section provided your basic concept is clear. You can read extensively about the topic from Rajani Goyal and Aroro, and D.D. Basu. Use the current practices of different Indian states as examples to cite for this chapter.

Civil Service

  • This is an important chapter and there have been questions from this chapter for 2-3 years. It can be correlated to the personnel relation chapter from paper-1.

Financial management

As various topics in this section, it must be studied with the Optional Paper-I. Furthermore, you can enrich your answers by correlating the chapter financial administration.

Administrative Reform

  • Emphasis on understanding the overall picture of the administration in the country.
  • If it seems ugh the entire report is impossible to go through since independence, try to cover the summary of the report.
  • You can also take Fadia and Fadia as reference.

Rural Development and Urban Local Government

  • Rajani Goyal and Arora along with magazines like yojana are the best sources for preparing this chapter.
  • While answering the questions from the chapter, draw comparisons to constitutional articles for a more informative approach.

Law and Order Administration

There is a lot of scope for improvising and sharing your perspectives in this chapter and hence the preparation should be accordingly done.

Significant Issues in Indian Administration

  • This section is gaining importance as more and more questions are being asked from here every year.
  • This is a very scoring chapter too provided your answers are well written and structurally sound.
Paper I Books

Best Books for UPSC Public Administration Optional

The list of books is divided according to the chapters of the papers. Here are the most preferable books for Public Administration Paper-I and Paper-II

Recommended Books for Public Administration Paper-I

Books for Paper-I Author/ Publishers
Administrative Thinkers D. Ravindra Prasad & V.S. Prasad
Public Administration RB Aribam
Public Administration: Administrative Theories and Concepts Fadia & Fadia
New Horizons of Public Administration Mohit Bhattacharya
Restructuring Public Administration A New Look Mohit Bhattacharya
Public Administration and Public Affairs Nicholas Henry
Public Administration: Concepts and Theories Basu Rumki
Paper II Books

Recommended Books for Public Administration Paper-II

Books for Paper-II Author/Publisher
Indian Public Administration: Institutions and Issues Ramesh K. Arora and Rajni Goyal
IGNOU Notes IGNOU
Yojana -
ARC Reports -
IIPA Journals Indian Journal Of Public Administration

The above-mentioned books cover the entire syllabus of the IAS (UPSC CSE) public administration syllabus. To stay updated and include the current example in your answer writing, make a habit of taking notes from newspapers and magazines.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.

Comments


0 Comments