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  1. IAS Mains Examination Syllabus (PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION)

    1. Introduction: 

    Meaning, scope and significance of Public Administration;  Wilson’s vision of Public Administration;  Evolution of the discipline and its present status;  New Public Administration;  Public Choice approach; Challenges of liberalization, Privatisation, Globalisation;  Good Governance: concept and application;  New Public Management.

    2. Administrative Thought: 

    Scientific Management and Scientific Management movement; Classical Theory; Weber’s bureaucratic model – its critique and post-Weberian Developments; Dynamic Administration (Mary Parker Follett); Human Relations School (Elton Mayo and others);

    Functions of the Executive (C.I. Barnard); Simon’s decision-making theory; Participative Management (R. Likert, C.Argyris, D.McGregor).

    3. Administrative Behaviour: 

    Process and techniques of decision-making; Communication; Morale; Motivation Theories – content, process and contemporary; Theories of Leadership: Traditional and Modern.

    4. Organisations: 

    Theories – systems, contingency; Structure and forms: Ministries and Departments, Corporations, Companies, Boards and Commissions; Ad hoc and advisory bodies; Headquarters and Field relationships; Regulatory Authorities; Public - Private Partnerships.

    5. Accountability and control: 

    Concepts of accountability and control; Legislative, Executive and Judicial control over administration; Citizen and Administration; Role of media, interest groups, voluntary organizations; Civil society; Citizen’s Charters; Right to Information; Social audit.

    6. Administrative Law:  

    Meaning, scope and significance; Dicey on Administrative law; Delegated legislation; Administrative Tribunals.

    7. Comparative Public Administration: 

    Historical and sociological factors affecting administrative systems; Administration and politics in different countries; Current status of Comparative Public Administration; Ecology and administration; Riggsian models and their critique.

    8. Development Dynamics: 

    Concept of development; Changing profile of development administration; ‘Anti-development thesis’; Bureaucracy and development; Strong state versus the market debate; Impact of liberalisation on administration in developing countries; Women and development - the self-help group movement.

    9. Personnel Administration: 

    Importance of human resource development; Recruitment, training, career advancement, position classification, discipline, performance appraisal, promotion, pay and service conditions; employer-employee relations, grievance redressal mechanism; Code of conduct; Administrative ethics.

    10. Public Policy: 

    Models of policy-making and their critique; Processes of conceptualisation, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review and their limitations; State theories and public policy formulation.

    11. Techniques of Administrative Improvement: 

    Organisation and methods, Work study and work management; e-governance and information technology; Management aid tools like network analysis, MIS, PERT, CPM.

    12. Financial Administration: 

    Monetary and fiscal policies;  Public borrowings and public debt Budgets  - types and forms;  Budgetary process;  Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

    1. Evolution of Indian Administration: 

    Kautilya’s Arthashastra; Mughal administration;  Legacy of British rule in politics and administration -  Indianization of public services, revenue administration, district administration, local self-government.

    2. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government: 

    Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture; Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development.

    3. Public Sector Undertakings: 

    Public sector in modern India; Forms of Public Sector Undertakings; Problems of autonomy, accountability and control; Impact of liberalization and privatization.

    4. Union Government and Administration: 

    Executive, Parliament, Judiciary - structure, functions, work processes; Recent trends;  Intragovernmental relations;  Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office; Central Secretariat; Ministries and Departments; Boards; Commissions; Attached offices; Field organizations.

    5. Plans and Priorities: 

    Machinery of planning;  Role, composition and functions of the Planning Commission and the National Development Council;  ‘Indicative’ planning;  Process of plan formulation at Union and State levels;  Constitutional Amendments (1992) and decentralized planning for economic development and social justice.

    6. State Government and Administration: 

    Union-State administrative, legislative and financial relations;  Role of the Finance Commission;  Governor; Chief Minister; Council of Ministers; Chief Secretary; State Secretariat; Directorates.

    7. District Administration since Independence: 

    Changing role of the Collector; Union-state-local relations; Imperatives of development management and law and order administration; District administration and democratic decentralization.

    8. Civil Services: 

    Constitutional position; Structure, recruitment, training and capacity-building;  Good governance initiatives;  Code of conduct and discipline; Staff associations; Political rights; Grievance redressal mechanism; Civil service neutrality; Civil service activism.

    9. Financial Management:  

    Budget as a political instrument;  Parliamentary control of public expenditure;  Role of finance ministry in monetary and fiscal area;  Accounting techniques; Audit;  Role of Controller General of Accounts and Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

    10. Administrative Reforms since Independence: 

    Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation.

    11. Rural Development:  

    Institutions and agencies since independence; Rural development programmes:  foci and strategies; Decentralization and Panchayati Raj; 73rd Constitutional amendment.

    12. Urban Local Government: 

    Municipal governance:  main features, structures, finance and problem areas;  74th Constitutional Amendment;  Global-local debate; New localism;  Development dynamics, politics and administration with special reference to city management.

    13. Law and Order Administration: 

    British legacy;  National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of central and state agencies including paramilitary forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism;  Criminalisation of politics and administration;  Police-public relations;  Reforms in Police.

    14. Significant issues in Indian Administration: 
    Values in public service; Regulatory Commissions; National Human Rights Commission; Problems of administration in coalition regimes; Citizen-administration interface; Corruption and administration;   Disaster management.

  1. Crack IAS public administration link: This site is not working for now. revisit later.



UPSC has been asking questions from topics not directly mentioned in the syllabus. These topics may be derived from the existing topics by a veteran player, but newcomers may find difficulty in doing that. UPSC can also ask questions from these hidden topics, as and when it wants to “punish” the aspirants opting for Public Administration.
I have tried to make a list of these hidden topics. If any of the veteran players find something wrong or something extra please mention that so that I can correct it.
P.S : I got a clue of some topics from the “speculated new syllabus”, which was never released by UPSC. :)
Paper 1
Unit 1: Introduction
a. British and French philosophy of Public Administration.
b. Minnowbrook 3 and its comparison with Minnowbrook 1 and 2.
c. Public Administration: emerging crisis and new directions.
Unit 2: Administrative Thought
a. Karl Marx
b. Dwight Waldo
c. Yehezkel Dror.
d. View of Indian leaders like Gandhiji, and Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Public Administration.
Unit 3: Administrative Behavior
Nothing hidden.
Unit 4: Organization
a. Theories- (a) Critical Theory of Public Organization, (b) Postmodernism and Poststructuralism in Public Administration.
b. General understanding of the following theories of organization- Classical, Neo-Classical, Systems, Structural, Structural-Functional, neo-Human Relations, Pluralist, Organizational- Social Psychological, Strategic-contingencies, Market, Critical.
c. Organisational Culture and its effect on organizational efficiency.
Unit 5: Accountability and control
a. Judicial Activism
b. Ombudsman- Lokpal
c. Whistleblower
d. Concept of Social Capital.
Unit 6: Administrative Law
a. Administrative Law in France, UK, Germany, and US.
Unit 7: Comparative Public Administration
a. Comparative study of Administrative systems: U.K., France, U.S.A, Brazil and China- recent structures should be emphasized.
Unit 8: Development Dynamics
a. Supermarket State and development.
b. Karl Marx views on development.
c. Amartya Sen’s views on development.
d. Bhagwati Sen and Amartya Sen debate over development.
Unit 9: Personnel Administration
Nothing hidden, it is a clear topic.
Unit 10: Public Policy
This is a very dynamic topic and UPSC generally asks difficult questions from it. Its good to read more in this topic to be on the safe side. Every year UPSC throws a surprise by asking something different. So, the best one can do is to understand the answers of the questions asked previously.
Unit 11: Techniques of Administrative Improvement
a. Social Impact Assessment.
b. Management by Objective.
c. Program Evaluation ( given nicely in Nicholas Henry, and also read about the program evaluation scenario in India).
Unit 12: Financial Administration
The topic is clear and complete.
Paper 2:
Unit 1: Evolution of Indian Administration
a. Comparison on Kautilya with western thinkers like Weber, and so on.
Unit 2: Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government
a. Gandhian and Nehruvian approaches to development: critical assessment.
Unit 3: Public Sector Undertakings
a. Status of Navratna and Maharatna undertakings.
Unit 4: Union Government and Administration
a. Regulatory Authorities- SEBI, IRDA, TRAI, and so on.
Unit 5: Plans and Priorities
The syllabus is clear and complete.
Unit 6: State Government and Administration
a. Emerging Trends in Union-State Relations: Recent trends in inter and intra governmental relations in the context of federalism.
b. Chief Ministerialization of State Governments in the contexts of liberalization and coalition governments.
Unit 7: District Administration since Independence
The syllabus is clear and complete.
Unit 8: Civil Services
The syllabus is clear and complete.
Unit 9: Financial Management
The syllabus is clear and complete.
Unit 10: Administrative Reforms since Independence
a. Important committees and commissions; a critical review of ARC I and ARC II.
b. Performance Mointoring and Evaluation Systems (PMES) and Results Framework Document(RFD)
c. Social and political obstacles to reforms.
Unit 11: Rural Development
a. Ideas of Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave, Jayaprakash Narain, and so on.
b. PESA act and problems in its implementation.
c. Local governance in 5th and 6th schedule areas; status of local governance in all the north-east states.
Unit 12: Urban Local Government
Nothing extra.
Unit 13: Law and Order Administration
Nothing extra.
Unit 14: Significant issues in Indian Administration
a. Tribal development administration.
b. Water Management.
c. Environment and Sustainable Development.
d. Land acquisition for development.
e. Women in administration – sexual violence.\
f. Corporate Social Responsibility.
  1. Public admin part: from ARC reports summary :

Indian Public Administration. Ramesh K Arora & Rajni Goyal

Indian Public Administration. Ramesh K Arora & Rajni Goyal

Indian Public Administration. Ramesh K Arora & Rajni Goyal

Indian Public Administration. Ramesh K Arora & Rajni Goyal

UPSC MAINS 2013-Public-Administration(optional) new pattern mock question paper cum answer booklet

Democracy and Diversity pdf

Administrative Ethics Terry L. Cooper

Synergy 2013 Public Administration Mains Test Series

Public Administration Mains Test Series

The Public Administration Theory Primer download pdf

Public Administration Video Lessons from IGNOU

Indian Constitution By M.Raja Ram pdf book Download

Comparative public administration pdf book Download P B Rathod

Ethics In Public Administration

Rumki basu Public Administration Review copy(only 107 pages)

Upsc Annual Lecture on Governance

Download                        or                     Download

Public Administration Notes of Om Kashera (Rank 17 CSE 2011)

Public Administration Handwritten Notes






Public Administration Handwritten Notes Kshitij Tyagi (Rank 148 CSE 2011)

Public Administration Handwritten Notes






Pub Ad notes of Neeraj Singh (Rank 11 CSE 2011)




Note:-As The syllabus has changed these materials might not be 100% apt, but they are from  toppers ,great deal of learning could be achieved by going through it.

- See more at:

Important blog for Public Administration:

listen into these enlightening videos by learned professors of the discipline of Public Administration, courtesy CEC - UGC EDUSAT, for the benefit of the readers:

1) Civil Services Exam. : Public Administration (Optional Subject):

2) Inclusive Governance - Public Administration:  &

3) Development Administration:  &

4) Public Administration Evolution:

5) Judicial Administration in India  :

6) Behavioural Approach - Public Administration:

7) Administrative Behaviour:

8) Public Administration : Decentralization and Development in India:

9) Socio-Psychological Approach:

10) Public Administration in the 21st Century:

11) Administrative Theory and Approaches - Part 1: &

12) Idea of Inclusive democracy:

13) The Changing Contour of Administration Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3 :  & &

14) Administrative Theory and Approaches - Part 2:

15) Mughal Period and it's Adminisration:

16) Organisational Behaviour Part 1 & Part 2:  &

17) Planning In India Part 1, Part 2 And Part 3: &  &

18) New Public Management:

19) Panchayati Raj System In India:

20) Politics & Governance:

IGNOU Public Administration Video Lessons

Click on each topics below to view the lessons - 

·                    Ecological Approach to Public Administration 
·                    Public Choice Theory 
·                    Public Policy 
·                    Civil Society 
·                    Governance in India 
·                    Development Concepts and Theories 
·                    Citizen and Administration 
·                    Introduction to Public Policy Part 1 
·                    Introduction to Public Policy Part 2
·                    Public Economics 
·                    Leadership 
·                    Communication
·                    Administrative Responsiveness 
·                    Civil Society 
·                    Public Policy Making Major Determinants Part-1
·                    Role Of Planning Commission 
·                    Socio Psychological Approach 
·                    Understanding Policy Implementation
·                    Indian Budget System - Part 1
·                    Indian Budgeting System-Part 2
·                    Training Of Higher Civil Servants
·                    Psychological Approach Views Of Abraham Maslo and Federick
·                    Globalisation
·                    Mitigating Disasters
·                    Democracy in Search of Equality
·                    Role Of Voluntary Organisation

There are many Public Administration Video lessons - by IGNOU professors ( Indira Gandhi National Open University)  and are available FREE. Please utilise it fully. Infact thats when the true potential of open education unleashes.

Enjoy Watching !!!

IGNOU Video links:

1) Citizen And Administration:

2) New Public Management:

3) Indian Budgeting System: &

4) Public Policy: & & &

5) Policy Implementation: &

6) Modernization And Globalization:

7) Civil Society: &

8) Disaster Administration: &

9) Research Methodology Conceptual Foundation - Public Administration:

10) Administrative Responsiveness: &

11) Systems and Behavioural Approach Views of Chester Barnard & Herbert Simon  :

12) Public Choice Theory:

13) Governance In India:

14) Planning Commission - Role:

15) Public Administration - Theory:

16) Development Concept & Theories:

17) New Public Administration:

18) Public Administration - Ecological Approach:

19) Socio - Psychological Approach: &

20) Civil Society & Public Policy:

21) Gandhian Perspective on Development:

22) Police Administration:

23) Concept Of Class In Karl Marx And Max Weber's Writings:



1. This paper is straight forward and scoring. But one needs to maintain a standard language and cover all the points while writing answers. So its better to decide your sources and read them 3-4 times.
2. Please read any report that is released during the preparation period, e.g., Damodaran Committee Report on Regulation of Business and Planning Commission report on CPSEs.
3. Moreover, watching “Big Picture” on Rajya Sabha at 9:30 pm on Moday to Friday may help in honing your knowledge and making it current based.
4. Nothing is more important than writing answers to the questions asked in last 20 years question papers. Book by KBC Nano provides unit wise division of questions.
5. Again, make notes of material other than standard textbooks, like ARC, reports, and so on. It will make your life easy. :)
Unit wise source
1. Evolution of Indian Administration- Very beautifully covered in Part 1 of the book “Indian Administration” by Rajni Goyal and Ramesh K Arora. Read it diligently several times.
2. Philosophical and Constitutional framework of government-
a. Salient features and value premises; Constitutionalism; Political culture- Chapter 4, 5 and 6 of the book Indian Administration by Rajni Goyal and Ramesh K Arora.
b. Bureaucracy and democracy; Bureaucracy and development- Chapter 3 and 4 of the book “Social Theory and Development Administration” by Mohit Bhattacharya.
3. Public Sector Undertakings: Chapter 9 of the book ” Public Administration” by M Laxmikanth. + “S.K Roongta Committee” report-
4. Union Government and Administration- Read pertinent topics from Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora. + read ARC report on Union Administration.
5. Plans and Priorities- Again pertinent topics from Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora + any new report on the website of Planning Commission.
6. State Government and Administration- This is a very important topic.
a. Read chapter 9, 16, 17 and 18 from Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora.
b. Read the report of Punchchi Commission. It is very important. One can always quote it.
c. Read the ARC report 15th on State and District Administration.
7. District Administration since Independence-
a. Changing role of the Collector- Chapter 33 of the book ” Indian Administration” by Avasthi and Avasthi.
b. Union-state-local relations- Punchhi Commission report.
c. Imperatives of development management and law and order administration- The first topic is current based and is also covered in the 15th report of ARC. Second topic will be covered in law and order administration.
d. District administration and democratic decentralization- Part 5 of Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora + 15th report of ARC.
8. Civil Services- Already covered in paper 1.
9. Financial Management- Sources mentioned in Paper 1+ Part 7 of Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora.
10. Administrative Reforms since Independence-
a. Major Concerns- Chapter 30 of Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora.
b. Important Committees and Commissions- Just make a summary of all the major reports released after independence. A list of them is provided in the book “Indian Administration” by Avasthi and Avasthi.
c. Reforms in financial management and human resource development- These topics will be covered in ARC reports on financial management and Personnel Administration. Also keep a track on newspaper reports for these topics.
d.  Problems of implementation- This is a dynamic topic. So read newspaper reports for problems in implementing various reforms. 12th plan document would also be very helpful for this topic. Reading it is anyway necessary for GS.
11. Rural Development- Pertinent topic from Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora + ARC report on local governance.
12. Urban Local Government- 
a. Municipal governance: main features, structures, finance and problem areas; 74th Constitutional Amendment;
Globallocal debate- Pertinent topic from Rajni Goyal and Ramesh Arora + ARC report on local governance.
b. New localism- Refer to this link
c. Development dynamics, politics and administration with special reference to city management- ARC report on local governance + Chapter 12 of Nicholas Henry book.
13. Law and Order Administration- “Indian Administration” by Avasthi and Avasthi + ARC report on public order+ Annual report of MHA+ Report on Punchchi Commission.
14. Significant issues in Indian Administration-
a. Values in public service- already covered in paper 1
b. Regulatory Commissions- already covered in paper 1
c. National Human Rights Commission; Problems of administration in coalition regimes- Book by Avasthi and Avasthi + this is a current based topic so please read newspaper articles on this topic+ Big Picture on Rajya Sabha may also help.
d. Citizen-administration interface- already covered
e. Corruption and administration- New Horizons of Public Administration- Chapter 13, 21, 22, 26 + ARC report on ethics in governance & DoPT report on “Values in Administration:
f. Disaster management- One can read the MHA report on Disaster Management. It is voluminous, so making notes once would be helpful.

Administrative Reforms since Independence: Major concerns; Important Committees and Commissions; Reforms in financial management and human resource development; Problems of implementation.

Reform - The word ' Reform ' means to make something better, to improve something or to remove the faults of something especially by changing its behaviour or structure.

Reform is an inherited feature of  Public(govt.) Administration because of the constant growth of its functions for catering to the ever increasing demands of society and to remain relevant in the changing times.

A single definition of Administrative reform has not been come to, however, there are two ways/approaches to understanding it:
i) Reform of Administration as a complex rebuilding of it.
ii) Reform to be a particular change within administration or just a modernising or improvising of administrative procedures.

Various aspects of Administrative reform are:
i) Political
ii) Legal
iii) Institutional
iv) Technical 
v) Personnel
vi) Financial
viii) Social
ix) Psychological,etc.

These are often interlinked as well.

Stages in Administrative reform:
i) Theoretical
ii) Practical situation emergence for reform
iii) Preparation stage for implementation of reform
iv) Realisation of the reforms when there is success in achieving the stipulated aims that were pre-set.

Apart from national factors of reform, stress should also be put here on the role of International organisations such as UNO,EU,OECD, WB,IMF,etc. who push countries/members to reform their administrative practices through various means like development funds, Millennium Goals, Good Governance,Sanctions,etc.

Independence opened up new and bigger challenges before the country as it was under a solemn obligation to bring about social and economic improvement which was an all-round improvement in the lives of the people of the country. The government is irrevocably committed to the DPSPs enshrined in the Constitution,which directs it actively to work for the economic and social well being of the people,refer to importance of DPSP -

Also, to achieve this apart from reforming administrative machinery,there was a need to reform the attitudes of the Civil services as well from a colonial hangover of domination and non transparency to sub servient to the people of India as envisaged in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution that begins with 'We, the people of India'.

The first reform in Public administration since Independence began with the introduction of the Parliamentary form of government based on Universal Adult Franchise which consequently transformed the civil services to an instrument/tool in the hands of the popularly elected government for implementation of its policies and programmes and a service provider to the public.

The next step in administrative reforms was the establishment of the All India Services,Central services and State services machinery. 

After that came the decentralisation reform where Constitutional status was conferred upon local self governments in rural and urban areas which enhanced the arena and functions of Public administration.

 One must note that when the Constitution was being framed, the Constitution founding fathers did not pay much thought to the type of administrative machinery required for an Independent India as they felt that the inherited one was doing its job well,and,perhaps they also felt  that Constitutional and political changes were of major consequence that would automatically make its tool which is public administration undergo the requisite transformation under its impact.
However,such a interlink never really happened,and with the onset of the Planning Commission and its development Plans the painfully inadequate and weak administrative system was discovered. Thus, the first Five Year Plan called for reforms regarding the same.

So, the Staff Reorganisation Unit was setup in 1953, later renamed the Staff Inspection Unit under the Ministry of Finance to review staffing in government agencies with a view to achieve economy in staff consistent with administrative efficiency. This Unit is still in existence and doing useful work but is not directly or immediately related to administrative reform.

In 1954,the establishment of the O & M agency in the govt. located in the Cabinet Secretariat, to begin and sustain administrative efficiency in all branches of public administration brought in some hope for real administrative reforms. Its location in the Cabinet Secretariat enabled it to get cooperation and collaboration from all other Ministries and departments and direct them to achieve the same and keep them accountable. Refer to O & M in detail in this post -


i) Efficiency and Economy
ii) Specialisation
iii) Effective cooperation and coordination
iv) Administration and Development of Personnel
v) Accountability
vi) Corruption

 The A.D. Gorwala Committee appointed in 1951 by the Planning Commission and in 1953 the Appleby Commission was set up as well to analyse the administrative machinery for implementing planned development submitted its report with the recommendation to introduce O & M procedures in govt. departments as well as setting up of IIPA for advancement of administrative knowledge which was subsequently implemented.
In 1956, the Planning Commission again constituted the Committee on Plan Projects to carry out studies in the field of projects,with a view of evolving suitable forms of organisation,methods,standards and techniques for avoiding waste and ensuring efficient execution of projects. This Committee was wound up as a separate entity in 1970 but played an important part in developing development administration. Refer to post on Development Administration -

The Second Pay Commission in 1959 recommended the pooling of the Secretariat and the attached offices into a single Headquarter organisation.

S. R. Das Committee, a one-man Commission which investigated allegations of corruption and misuse of power against Chief Minister Kairon of Punjab who lost his office as a result of his findings. 

Santhanam Committee on Prevention of Corruption, in its report in 1964,found that corruption was not confined to only lower rank of public service. It recommended the setting up of the Central Vigilance Commission armed with adequate powers as well as a code of conduct for Ministers on par with the Chief Ministers of all states. However, once must note here that this reform has been diluted and the CVC has only been conferred advisory/recommendation powers and has to recommend to/take permission from the respective ministry/dept in order to proceed with investigating against its erring officials on the complaint through the CBI. If this machinery has to be made relevant and powerful then there has to be a release of it from this permission system as well as making the CBI an independent organisation away from the clutches of the government. However, the CVC does publish its reports and as to why its recommendations were rejected by the respective Ministry/Officials and if there is a strong and vigilant opposition then it can make a lot of difference and it has made a difference time and again when the situation is favourable.

First Administrative Reforms was set up in 1966 - 1970 with Morarji Desai as its Chairman and on his becoming Deputy Prime Minister, K. Hanumanthaiya took over. The Commission submitted 20 reports discussing different areas of administration and reforms for it with detailed 500 recommendations.
The Commission recommended entry into the middle and senior management levels in secretariat from all services. As well as holding of a mid - career competitive written examination for filling middle and senior level positions in the government and many other recommendations pertaining to the Public Service Commissions, however all of these were turned down due to lack of political will and bureaucratic dominance over implementation of the recommendations,but its recommendations on Training were accepted and implemented in entirety by the government as a plausible means of administrative reform and capacity building. 

The biggest issue with implementing recommendations of commissions and committees is that there isn't a sound policy for the same. The responsibility of accepting/rejecting such recommendations is left to the concerned Ministry/department. The implementation branch in the Department of Administrative reforms is ruled by bureaucrats dissect these reports before submitting it to the Cabinet,so a bureaucrat would never pass any recommendation that is uncomfortable for him and his status/position. So it is killed at the very beginning.
Also the ARC's recommendation for a strong Lokpal was also accepted but has yet to see the light of the day since almost half a century of its recommendation. 

There is a need for reform here which was recommended in the ARC report as well, where an all-party Parliamentary committee should be set up to keep a watch over the implementation of the accepted recommendations and report on the other recommendations as to why it cannot be accepted. And, during this process the bureaucrats should be kept away. Within three months of receipt of the report from the Commission , the govt. should place before the Parliament a white paper indicating its decisions regarding the recommendations and debates and discussions should ensue by the Parliamentarians for fair play.

The Jha  Commission on Economic Administrative reforms advocated the need to move towards accountability in the positive sense so that greater importance was given to performance instead of rules and regulations/procedures. The concept of Management by Objectives was introduced in the form of Annual Action plan for Ministries and Departments and Memoranda Of Understanding with PSUs,which we can see today ( giving status to PSUs like Navratna and Maharatna,etc.). Similarly, an online monitoring of managerial performance in infrastructure sectors was inititated.

Post this,the administrative reforms have shifted their attention to micro-levels and has since become an area of bureaucrats through the nodal administrative reforms agency i.e. the Department of Personnel and Administrative reforms under the Home Ministry which is manned by career civil servants that would not pass hard reform measures and is only content with soft pedestrian level reforms. On the personnel side of its functions, the Department formulates policies relating to recruitment,training,promotion,employer-employee relations,service conditions,etc. in the civil service. Staff welfare,discipline and morale in civil service and integrity in administration form a part of its portfolio. It also determines the policy relating to administrative reform in India.
But,the range and nature of the work undertaken by the Department above, makes the term administrative reform inappropriate as they are more akin to administrative improvement only,that is improvement of existing structures only that carries a local meaning and significance and the official manning it are far away from actual problems of administration and are just performing clerical activities.

To be effective, the Department needs to look around for fresh ideas and alternatives in the field of Public administration through meaningful and intelligent comparative studies and debates of Public and Personnel administration forums at the national as well as international level and undertake research on the same. It needs to shed its veil of secrecy and interact with the public more to improve its status as well as functions and gain respect from all departments and ministries who treat it as an outsider and do not allow it to study them or advise them.

The Fifth and Sixth Pay Commissions brought in a lot of reforms as well for sustaining the integrity and honesty of public administrators through enhanced pays that were implemented.
The arrival of the New Industrial Policy and LPG brought in a lot of major reforms, like the introduction of ICT technology in administration ( E- Governance) and Public-Private partnership, as well as dis investments in PSUs which has led to a higher efficiency as well as effectiveness in administration.

The Punchchi Commission also is worth noting here - refer to

The Second Administrative reforms Commission headed by Veerappa Moily has recommended that the subject of Public Administration/Governance be made mandatory for aspiring civil servants, besides setting up National Institutes of Public Administration and the Central Services Authority. The Government of India has come up with a draft Public Services Bill (2007) that aims to change the nature of the civil services as well as face the challenges to governance in the context of complex global challenges. This paper presents an overview of the changing nature of civil services in India in the post-Independence period with emphasis on the reforms and the challenges ahead. Refer -

Implementing Aadhar or Unique Identification Authority of India.

Expenditure Reforms Commission - that emphasized on a drastic downsizing of the government staff strength for securing modern and professional governance and also reducing the increasing salary bill of the Government of India.

The D.S. Kothari Committee Report on Recruitment Policy and Selection Methods, 1976, interaliarecommended a major change in the examination system. It recommended a two-stage examination process – a preliminary examination followed by a main examination. This Committee also suggested changes in the training pattern for the civil services. 

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances(DARPC) has proposed a framework for good governance in the form of a Code of Governance. The main components of this Code are: (i)improving service delivery; (ii) development of programmes for weaker sections and backward areas; (iii) technology and system improvement; (iv) financial management and budget sanctity; (v)accountability and transparency; (vi) public service morale and anti-corruption; and (vii) incentivizing reforms.

However,to conclude here,the opinion is that the central reform agency has failed in its mission and hardly rises above organisational and O& M levels. The Planning Commission provides the perspective for planning and the DARPC does the policy planning,however both of these organisations are ill staffed for the same as they have specialsits mostly who are distant from the administrative realities,so there is a need to have a seperate long term Administrative reforms organisation,free of bureaucrats and staffed with eminent people who have practical knowledge of the working of administration and its major concerns to bring in bold administrative reforms and also people need to be made aware of their rights as well as the duties and responsibilities the public officials owe to them in which the NGOs and NPOs as well as civil society can make a lot of contribution and difference.

Public Finance Management basically deals with all aspects of resource mobilisation  and expenditure management in government. Very important in today's times as rising population and rising demands is leaving a big burden on the economy. 

However Public Financial Management continues to be restricted to budget implementation,administration of payment systems,accounting and reporting in the states of funds received and spent.

Reforms however have been brought in that focus on results and outcomes rather than only on compliance with procedures as tools of modern financial management like IT and Financial information system are being implemented to improve efficiency and accountability.

Also the accounting system is being changed from cash based to accrual accounting for more transparency,clarity and efficiency.

There have been various commissions and committees set up mentioned above that also dealt with human resource development like training and capacity building as well as Pay Commissions that enhanced and recommended better recruitment & promotion practices as well as conditions of service,etc.

A mention should be made here of the reforms in the educational sector too for building the capacity of the human resource in a country like the Knowledge Commission and Education for all policy,setting up central and state open schools and universities as well as a variety of flexible as well as standardised distance learning courses as well as the enactment of the Right to Education Act.
Refer -

i) Lack of Political will
ii) Lack of Bureaucratic will
iii) Bureaucratic stranglehold over administrative reforms
iv) Lack of long term strategising agency for administrative reforms free of bureaucratic stranglehold.
v) Lack of information dissemination among people and stakeholders of reforms being carried out.
vi) Over staffing and burden over the exchequer for paying salaries instead of diverting it to reforms implementations.
vii) Lack of comparative study and interaction of Administration practices and administrators internationally as well as among the public.
viii)Move from administrative improvement attitude within existing structures and machineries to proper administrative reformist attitudes that pushes the envelope.
ix) Lack of practical solutions and recommendations by the Commissions and committees at times due to idealistic/theoretical attitude or lack of practical experience in the subject.
x) Lack of awareness among public in regards to their rights and the public official's duties and responsibilities towards them.
 xi) Corruption and vested interests and weak anti corruption agencies.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Replies
    1. Satya Srinivas,

      you are most welcome.

      You can add more useful links here in the comments... so that, it can be useful for some aspirant in some way....

      All the best for your future :-)

  3. Hi Sir,

    Very helpful blog. Of the links that I randomly checked some of them are not working, e.g Public Administration-1---Introduction / Administrative Thoughts. If possible plz make correction.

    Thank you :)

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Hello Sir,I am preparing on my own without coaching for IAS.For guidance I have friends those have written Mains having PubAd as optional.I have studied Thinkers from Desikanoon site, IGNOU Notes of Thinkers only and Prasad and Prasad precisely.I wanted to read toppers note in order to understand Mohit Bhattacharya.My friends have attended coaching from Mohanty Sir,and they refer their notes only.I feel uncomfortable with their notes and toppers notes in markets too.Sir please advice me book/notes which I should prefer in order to understand Mohit Bhattacharya and develop thought which would enable me to compete with the dynamic nature of UPSC questions.

  6. Archit you have understood nature of Paper 1 correctly.However, my advise is to refer topics from standard books instead of looking for toppers notes or someone else's notes.class notes or toppers notes are only for the basic understanding of the subject. Once you are ok with concept, you should and must widen your sources and references.

  7. Hello Sir,thanks for giving your valuable time.I have gone through various sources given in your site,but I am unable to enumerate them for my reading schedule.I dont want to waste time and understand its concept lucidly.Should I directly go with the sources given here?Kindly elaborate about the proper planning for Paper 1 for a better understanding considering my current knowledge so far.


  8. Thank you sir for this kind of valuable service to cse aspirants.

  9. nature and scope of local government explain??

    1. Pleaase refer ignou MA material for more details on local governance... also yojana edition on local governance....

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  13. Thank you for the valuable information sir. I have a doubt regarding paper 2 sir. I had already completed 3 chapters from fadia and fadia. But you gave aroura as reference for those topics. Should i read those topics again from aroura or will fadia suffice for writing answers?


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