Competitive Exams: Problems of Public Administration in India

The major dysfunctional ties found in the existing public administration system were: Politics administration dichotomy is unrealized, irrelevant and unworkable, as the actors on either side frequently change positions and the two activities intermesh in the practical world of governance.

  1. In public institutional life, there is no such thing as purely rational decision making. Rather it is bounded (limited) rationality (as per SIMON)? In real situations, people have certain degree of subjectivity. Moreover, the tendencies towards irrationality are not rare as many actors and forces impinge upon decisions and compete for accommodation.

  2. Top-down policy implementation does not, in actually, work. It is now well accepted that public administration is best looked after by self-steering groups rather than closely supervised group. Hierarchy is essentially power-oriented rather than work oriented.

  3. Successful public administration is rarely rule bound. What matters is goal achievement and effectiveness. In traditional public administration rules became the end rather than means to an end. It encourages a culture of non performance, and shirking taking initiative.

  4. Centralization leads to rigidity. Hierarchy results in implementation deficit. Free flow of communication is impeded by rigid hierarchy and centralization of power. Public institutions operate efficiently when decentralized, allowing lower level initiative, adjustment, adaptability, flexibility.

  5. Public employees do not have any special type of motivation. In real life, they have often been found to act to maximize self-interests like income, prestige and power, rather than public interest.