IAS Mains Public Administration 2017 Expected Questions

  1. “Public Administration today stands at the crossroads of public choice theory, pluralism, corporatism and elitism”. Discuss

  2. “In the last three decades, almost all countries of the world have experienced transformations in their administrative systems”. Explain this phenomenon with examples from the developed and the developing nations in the context of New Public Management Movement.

  3. “Not merely governance but good governance is the key factor in achieving the United Nations Millennium Goals (2000).” Explain.

  4. Deductive-nomological and inductive-probabilistic approaches dominate new public administration. (Marini) Discuss.

  5. Critically examine the role of the Finance Ministry as the custodian of all public revenues.

  6. ‘It is high time that the distribution of central assistance under article 282 of Indian constitution, (which is entirely or even mainly made on the basis of Semi-Judicial Awards of the Finance Commission) needs to be reexamined in all its implications. Why?

  7. Why is it that the behavioral approach to the study of organizations is a continuous phenomenon? Discuss Chester Barnard’s contributions to this approach.

  8. As March and Simon point out, there seems to exist a ‘Gresham’s Law’ of decision-making.” Explain.

  9. “In McGregor’s view, the managerial cosmology meaningfully addresses the understanding of manager and his role perceptions.” Explain.

  10. “The successful management leaders are found in Likert’s System-4 approach to organizational leadership.” Examine.

  11. The study of decision making is proceeding in so many directions that we can lose sight of the basic administrative processes that Barnard and Simon were trying to describe and that so many men have been trying to improve.” Elucidate.

  12. Analyze McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. Do you agree with the view that with every passing year, McGregor’s message ahs become more relevant and more important? Substantiate your answer.

  13. Effective implementation of plan projects has been the weakest link in the chain of the entire planning programme.” Elucidate

  14. “National Development council was established to co-ordinate between Union government, the planning commission and the state governments”. Comment.

  15. State and District planning bodies in India have not been effective in achieving their goals.” Comment

  16. Compare Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation and Herzberg’s motivation – hygiene theory. Do you think that they are universally applicable? If so, Why? If not, Why not?

  17. Bring out the importance of communication in administrative organisations. What are the drawbacks in upward communication?

  18. “Leaders do the right things, managers do them rightly”. (Bennis) Comment

  19. “Theoretically the Board administration violates the distinction between government and politics because through it politics is injected in the administration”. Comment

  20. Account for the growing tendency of centralization in the modern state.

  21. “Theoretically the Board administration violates the distinction between government and politics because through it politics is injected in the administration”. Comment

  22. Account for the growing tendency of centralization in the modern state.

  23. ‘The departmental pattern of undertaking does not offer the necessary, autonomy, flexibility and entrepreneurship to Management. Examine.

  24. “The Commission form of organization would tend to be a ‘headless fourth branch’ of government”. Comment.

  25. “The States are constitutionally obliged to ensure that the laws passed by Parliament are implemented.” Explain the constitutional position fully.

  26. States with a record of good governance, it is argued by spokesperson of some states, lost their earlier share from the Finance Commission’s Award. Comment.

  27. The authority of the Governor in the discretionary field is not unrestrained. If it is misused … the President can check him/her and if necessary, he may even remove the Governor.’ Examine this statement critically in the context of the Office of the Governor

  28. “The success and prestige enjoyed by a Chief Secretary depends to a large extent, upon his equations with the varied sets of people and institutions that form the work environment.” Critically evaluate the statement and its relevance to the role of the Chief Secretary in the discharge of his functions.

  29. “What is judicial activism? How far has it been successful in exercising a check over administration?

  30. “Instruments of public accountability can be truly effective only if the people and their associations, backed by a responsible media, are assertively pro-active.” Comment

  31. “Open access to government records is … the hallmark of a democratic government’, but ‘governments are not hesitant about destroying records – very deliberately – in order to prevent investigations, as well as to generally weaken accountability’. Do you think that in this situation right to information can go to the extent of demanding complete declassification and ‘de-archivization’ of government records? Argue.

  32. Define the term ‘civil society’. How does civil society influence the public policy?

  33. Would you agree that the strong Rechsstaat version of the rule of law found on the continent never existed in England because of its particular history?

  34. Why is le droit administrative regarded alongside the Napoleonic Code as the most notable achievement of French legal science?

  35. The field of PA is a field of business (Wilson). Comment. (200 words)

  36. “PA can be portrayed as a wheel or relationships focused on the formulation and implementation of Public Policy.” Explain. (200 words)

  37. “Not to be comparative is to be naively parochial” (Riggs). Comment (20M – 250 words)

  38. In the globalized Public Administration, hierarchy creates more ethical problems than it solves. Comment (10M – 150W)

  39. Neither Weidner nor Fred Riggs was able to describe the process of development administration adequately. Explain the drawbacks and weaknesses in their theoretical analyses. (30M – 250W)

  40. CPA both resembles and differs from modern organisation theory(10M-150W)

  41. “The scope of administration is determined by scope of government functions decided politically.” Comment. (1998)

  42. Waldo speaks of the fears of F. M. Marx that PA has grown so broad and so much is involved at its periphery that it stands “In danger of disappearing completely as a recognisable focus of study.” Comment. (1993)

  43. Public Administration is more philosophical than management and more technical than political science. Explain

  44. “Physical science is an objective study of only objective things. While on other hand, Social science is an objective study of both objective and subjective things.” – Weber. Evaluate.

  45. Public and private administration are not two distinct identities rather they are species of same genus, administration. Critically Examine.

  46. “Public opinion in democracy slowdown the progress of science of administration.” Wilson. Comment in light of functioning of democracies in present era.

  47. The need for government in action arose only in the third stage of evolution of political history of the State, which explains the late emergence of Public Administration as a discipline. Evaluate.

  48. A good constitution is merely a necessary condition, not a sufficient one. Discuss the above statement in context of the politics -administration dichotomy propounded by Wilson.

  49. Administrative tribunals and judicial review are not only instruments of interpretation of law but also safeguards against administrative weaknesses and excesses. Comment.

  50. Discuss the view that “tribunals should have the same degree of independence from the executive as that enjoyed by the Supreme Court and the high courts, especially for those tribunals that took over the functions of high courts.”

  51. “Judicial review of administrative tribunal’s decisions defeats the very objective of establishing tribunals.” Comment.

  52. “In certain discourses, there is a reflected basic distrust against bureaucracy as an instrument of development.” Do you think bureaucracy is more appropriate for regulatory administration than for development administration?

  53. “The principle of bureaucratic neutrality is more superfluous and redundant in the context of developing countries.” Comment.

  54. Consider the following statements below:

    1. SHGs enable women to realize their full potential in some spheres of life.

    2. SHGs are providing avenues of political mobilization.

    Examine the implications of these two statements and assess the potential of SHGs for development. (300 Words)

  55. “The prismatic model of Riggs is equally applicable to developing as well as developed society.” Comment.

  56. “Not to be comparative is to be naively parochial” (Riggs)

  57. “Taylor’s Contribution was not a set of general principles for organizing work efficiency, but a set of operating procedures that could be employed in each concrete situation to secure their application.” Comment((2009/ 200 Words)

  58. “The Barnard-Simon Theory of Organisation is essentially a theory of motivation.” Comment (2009/200 Words)

  59. What are the two biggest challenges in the coming years for Indian Administration? Justify your position. (200 words)

  60. Piffner point out that the constitution of a country is a plan. Every planning and purposeful activity is preceded by preparation for action. Do you agree with the assessment of Piffner about the constitution? Discuss. (2007 Pakistan Civil Services/ 200 words)

  61. “Bureaucracy developed by the British stifled the village self-rule.” Comment (200 Words)

  62. “There is no basic contradiction between civil service neutrality and civil service activism.” Comment. (200 Words)

  63. Do State Services suffer in comparison with the All India and Central Services? Suggest measures for enhancing the role, competence and impact of State Services. (300 Words)

  64. India has failed to devise a long term strategy for drought management.” Comment (200 Words)

  65. Indicate the milestones in the story of development from the Nehruvian Model to the Liberalization model. (CSM 20011/300 words)

  66. “The blame for out poor public sector performance can be laid on the way our bureaucracy is structured,” Comment (CSM 2007/200 words)

  67. ”The main problem with Mary Parker Follett’s work is that her idealism is showing.” Explain.(CSE 2006/20 marks/200 words)

  68. Does the emergence of an Empowered group of Ministers at the Central Level impair the doctrine of Cabinet responsibility?(CSE 2010/20 marks/200 words)

  69. “The prismatic model of Riggs is equally applicable to developing as well as developed society.” Comment. (2010/200 words)

  70. “The real problem of administrative reforms in India at the state and local levels in that they are imposed from above.” Comment. (2011/300 words)

  71. “Attempts to solve administrative problems in isolation from the structure of power and purpose in the polity are bound to be illusory.” (Norton Long) Comment. (300 Words)

  72. “Administrative reforms form a part of larger political process and should be considered in relation to it.” Examine. (300 Words)

  73. “Public administration is ultimately problem of political theory.” (Wallace Sayre) Comment.(300 Words)

  74. The study of Administration should start from the base of management rather than the foundation of law. Explain. (CSE 2010/200 marks)

  75. Do you think there is a sort of paradox between e-governance and good governance? Explain fully. (CSE 2012/200 marks)

  76. “Coalition politics of contemporary time is, at times, at war with the ideas of planning commission.” Comment. (200 Words)

  77. “Kautilya was a political realist rather than an Idealist. Comment.(300 Words)

  78. Independence of judiciary is sacrosanct but seeking a broader collegium based judicial appointment needs serious exploration. Give your views. (300 Words)

  79. Critically comment on the recent Supreme Court directive on fixed tenure for Bureaucrats. (200 words)

  80. Simon’s decision-making theories and techniques are of little use to Public Administration. Critically Examine.(250 words)

  81. “Laxity in monitoring and evaluation can render even best policies infructuous.” Discuss. (Mains 2008/ 200 words)

  82. The period of British rule generated most of the structural and behavioural values of Indian administration not by initiation but through interaction. Examine (Mains 2000/ 200 words)

  83. Make a critical assessment of Dicey’s understanding of the Rule ofLaw Droit Administratif.(2011/150 words)

  84. Analyse McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. Do you agree with the view that with every passing year, his message has become more relevant andmore important? Substantiate your answer. (2007/300 words)

  85. “Community policing has become a victim of elite capture.” Discussthe concept of community policing and bring out the implications ofthe above statement.(2011/300 words)

  86. “Weberian model of bureaucracy lacks empirical validity when applied to modern democratic administration.” Examine. (2003/200 words)

  87. Critically examine the models of Max Weber and Chester Barnard with reference to Bureaucratic authority. (2001/200 words)

  88. “Simon’s work has had major implications for the study of administration and the practice of administration professionalism.” Comment.(2006/200 words)

  89. “Bureaucracy can exist only where the whole service of the state is removed from the common political life of the people, its chiefs as well as rank and file. Its motives, its objectives, its policy, its standards must be bureaucratic.”- Discuss. (2004/200 words)

  90. “Taylor’s scientific management ignored social and psychological factors.” Comment.(2007/200 words)

  91. “The headquarters-field relationship is fraught with complexities. To arrive at a general principle, thus, is nearly impossible. Therefore, this should be more of a practitioner’s domain rather than of academician’s.” Comment. (250 words)

  92. Do you agree with the view that in the wake of increasing role of local bodies, the District Collector be absolved largely of his development functions to focus more on regulatory functions? Justify. (250 words)

  93. “The Cabinet Secretary’s is a very general staff function, not a line function in relation to the ministries. His business is to help not to oversee. Comment. ( 300 Words)

  94. With respect to Globalization and its administrative challenges, explain state capacity deficit and its implications. (200 words)

  95. “Cost-benefit analysis is a very unsatisfactory view of analyzing public policy.” Comment.(2010/200 words)

  96. There is a separate ministry Central ministry or Department on each subject allocated to State List. Does it mean supremacy of the Union Government or an emphasis on development administration? Analyse. (2007/300 words)

  97. The concept of accountability has only widened during the last century. Examine. (150 words)

  98. The concept of Civil Service neutrality is outdated and does not augur well for a developing society. Comment.(20 Words)

  99. The Systems approach is relevant even today for organizational analysis. Discuss how Barnard and David Easton adopted this approach in their respective areas of study. (CSE 2011/300 Words).

  100. The administrator needs autonomy and discretion in much the same way as the politician needs control and intervention. Discuss. (2004/ 200 words)

  101. How is the performance of the Indian government evaluated? Do you think these tools have proved their utility? (250 words)

  102. ‘Man’s motives … in different subparts of the same organization may be different’ [Edgar Schein]. Discuss. (CSE 2012/150 words)

  103. Leadership is the ‘influential increment over and above mechanical compliance with the routine directives of the organization’ [Katz and Kahn]. Analyze. (150 words)

  104. In the era of neo-liberalism there is an emphasis on a strong state and a vibrant market. Ironically this phenomena which is contemporary could be dealt by a classical theorist such as Gullick’s view on the nature of the state and the role of the administration. Discuss (250 words)

  105. ”There is little difference in Maslow’s and Herzberg’s theories except that the latter is derived empirically.” Examine.(150 words)

  106. How can the behavioural school of thought be made instrumental in achieving ‘Good Governance’ in India? (250 words)

  107. Give reasons for the failure of the GoI to introduce the performance programme budgetary technique in Union Ministries. What type of budgetary system is being currently practiced in India and why?(CSE 2000/300 words)

  108. ”Legislative control over finances are inadequate and incomplete.” Comment. (CSE 2003/200 words)

  109. While the classical theorist of administration consider organisation as a set of individual a humanist such as Bernard that organisation is a set of activity. Elaborate. (250 words)

  110. Development administration focused on development activities also needs administrative development. Elaborate. (300 Words)

  111. Define the term civil society? How does civil society influence public policy? (300 Words)

  112. New paradigms in public administration do not look at the discipline from a fresh perspective but merely rehash the old concepts.” Critically evaluate (200 Words)

  113. “A public administration which fails to work for changes which tries to redress the deprivation of minorities will likely be eventually used to repress those minorities.” Frederickson.

    Evaluate with respect to the importance of values in public administration.

  114. Define the term ‘civil society’. How does civil society influence the public policy? (200 Words)

  115. ‘The Arthashastra is India’s oldest complete text on public administration.” Comment. (200 Words)

  116. “Decisions are something more than factual propositions. They have an ethical as well as a factual content.” Comment. [200 Words]

  117. “Administrative efficiency is enhanced by keeping at a minimum the number of organizational levels through which a matter must pass before it is acted upon.” – (Herbert A. Simon) [200 Words]