Everyone agrees that choosing the optional subject is challenging for the candidates of UPSC. All the consequences must be calculated before choosing a particular optional subject because it decides your performance in the exam.

The UPSC 2022 candidates are given the choice to choose an optional subject from 48 different subjects for their CSE exam. The students can choose Public Administration as an optional subject. This subject will also play a role if you become an IAS officer. This subject is chosen by many toppers. It has a magnificent value for the UPSC aspirants.

This subject is chosen by students who aim to be IPS or IAS officers as it helps them understand the responsibilities well. Like every other optional subject, there will be 2 papers for Public Administration, each of 250 marks that makes it a total of 500 marks. So let’s view the books for Public Administration optional subject to excellently prepare the concepts and fetch maximum scores.

Also Read: Public Administration Syllabus for UPSC: Check Out the Updated Syllabus and Ways to Succeed

Public Administration Optional Syllabus

The Public Administration optional syllabus for paper 1 is given below.

#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;



Motivation Theories content,

process and contemporary;

Theories of Leadership:

Traditional and Modem:

#4. Organizations

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 liberalization on administration in developing countries;

Women and development of the self-help group movement.

#9. Personnel Administration

Importance of human resource development; Recruitment,


career advancement,

position classification,

discipline, performance appraisal,

promotion, pray 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 conceptualization, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and review, and their limitations;

State theories and public policy formulation.

#11. Techniques of Administrative Improvement

Organization and methods,

Work-study and work management;

e-governance and information technology;

Management aid tools like network analysis,


#12. Financial Administration

Monetary and fiscal policies:

Public borrowings and public debt Budgets types and forms;

Budgetary process;

Financial accountability; Accounts and audit.

Also Read: How is Public Administration as Optional in the UPSC Mains? Is Opting for it Beneficial? 

Public Administration Optional Syllabus

The Public Administration optional syllabus for paper 2 is given below.

#1. Evolution of Indian Administration

Kautilya 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

The 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; Intra-governmental relations;

Cabinet Secretariat; Prime Minister’s Office;

Central Secretariat;

Ministries and Departments;

Boards; Commissions;

Attached offices;

Field organizations.

#5. Plans and Priorities

The 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.

Also Read: Public Administration Optional Previous Year Question Papers: Time to Boost Your UPSC Preparation

#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 the monetary and fiscal area;

Accounting techniques;


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 programs:

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;

Criminalization 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.

Public Administration covers a chunk of the GS papers in the UPSC Mains exam covering a major portion of GS Paper III – Polity and Governance. Choosing this paper as an optional and getting acquainted with the governmental framework where the aspirants might be working in the future, would be a really wise choice.

Also Read: What should I Study in Public Administration for the UPSC Exam? Here’s Your Answer

Public Administration Optional Books

When you are preparing for UPSC prelims or mains, reading is your best friend! What that means is that you have to read content throughout and learn. Relying on videos alone won’t do you any good. You have to read about your subjects and also current affairs.

Books are the major factor because this exam requires maximum knowledge on the subjects, especially the optional subject. You have to choose the best books for your preparation to know about all the concepts in detail. The examiners can ask you the questions from the current happenings related to your optional subject as well. So you should be aware of everything related to your optional subject.

For that, it is recommended that candidates use books for public administration optional subjects. Like already mentioned, your optional paper has a total weightage of 500 marks. So, if you qualify for the preliminary round, you will have to strap up and be ready to get the most out of the 500 marks.

You are required to have a nice grip on your optional subject as you have selected it as per your conviction. Therefore, don’t take it lightly, rather read from the prominent books to fetch authentic information.

Books for Public Administration Optional UPSC

To boost your grades, a list of recommended books is given. Books are the prominent source of learning about all the concepts of the syllabus in detail. The below-written books will help you to get a better understanding of the content and also have challenging questions.

Public Administration Books for Paper 1

#1. Lakshmikant: Public Administration

#2. Mohit Bhattacharya: New horizon of Public Administration

#3. Awasthi and Maheshwari: Public Administration theory and practice Public Administration

#4. Alka and Dhamija: Public Administration

#5. Mohit Bhattacharya: Development Administration.

Public Administration Books for Paper 2

#1. Indian Administration: Rajni Goyal and Arora

#2. Indian Administration: Rumki Basu

#3. IGNOU Material

Also Read: How Can I Prepare Public Administration Relating to Contemporary Issues for UPSC Mains?


If you are preparing for UPSC 2022, you must have got all the relevant information about the Public Administration question paper and syllabus through this article. Your UPSC preparation is very tough and stressful. To make it easier, a list of books that will help you understand the content easily is provided.

Books are your friend, and reading is your best friend. The more you read, the more you will learn. Public administration is quite popular among candidates and especially among those that dream of being an IAS officer. The subject may have comparatively less syllabus, but that does not make it any easier. Your hard work should never stop. It is said that Practice makes the human perfect.

If you need guidance over any concept or examination outlook, you must visit UPSC Pathshala. It is the destination for the UPSC aspirants as the experts are there to help you in every thick and thin. So, keep working hard with the best guidance and direction. All the best!

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Books for Public Administration Optional: Check Out the Tips to Score High in UPSC CSE Optional Subject
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Books for Public Administration Optional: Check Out the Tips to Score High in UPSC CSE Optional Subject
The optional subject is the biggest debate between the mind and conscience for the UPSC CSE aspirants. Let's learn about the books for Public Administration optional subject here.
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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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