Are you worried about the Public Administration subject? Do you want to choose it for your exam? Are you looking for the Public Administration optional syllabus for UPSC 2022? Well, it’s time to throw your stress away as this article has the relevant information for you. Public Administration is a popular optional subject of UPSC Mains among IAS exam candidates.

Are you also thinking of taking this subject? The subject is easy to understand and is very much similar to your General Studies. It will boost your knowledge not only for the optional question paper but for the entire process of the UPSC exam. This is why more and more people are choosing Public Administration as an optional subject.

Read the article till the end to know the Public Administration optional syllabus for UPSC. Here, the syllabus, important books, and every related information is available. Let’s begin the informative voyage.

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

Public Administration Optional Syllabus for UPSC

This subject is a choice of many toppers and UPSC candidates because of the knowledge that is gained during the preparation phase. After reading the syllabus, the candidate becomes connected and updated to the world. As all of us know there are two papers for the optional subject in Mains. Thus the Public administration optional syllabus can be divided into two sections. The sections are given below.

#. Paper-I syllabus (Administrative Theory)

#. Paper-II syllabus (Indian Administration)

Syllabus of Public Administration Paper-I

The questions in this paper are on Administrative Theory. The contents of Administrative Theory are:

#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, Privatization, Globalization; 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 Behavior

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

#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; 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 – 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 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, 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.

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

Syllabus of Public Administration Paper-Il

The second part of this sphere deals with Indian Administration from the traditional time to the current functionalities. The administration is the prominent thing to keep the order and protocol in the country for the rights of the people. Therefore, the administration is the most significant area to focus on.

The future civil servants must be aware of all the changes in the administrative authorities from earlier to now. This would make them more mindful to serve the people with positive efforts. The questions in this paper are based on the regularities and functions of the Indian Administration. The content of the Indian Administration paper 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.

#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.

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

Public Administration Optional Books

The books to refer for this subject are:

#. Public Administration – Laxmikanth

#. New Horizons Of Public Administration – Mohit Bhattacharya

#. Administrative Thinkers – D. Ravindra Prasad

#. Contemporary Debates in Public Administration – Dhameja Alka

#. Indian Administration – Maheswari

#. Introduction to the constitution of India – D.D.Basu

#. Important Judgments that Transformed India – Alex Andrews George

#. Public Administration: Concepts And Theories – Rumki Basu

#. A Dictionary of Public Administration – Maheswari

#. Indian Administration – Pankaj Singh

#. Public Administration: Theory And Practice

#. Governance in India for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary Examination – Laxmikanth

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

UPSC Optional Subject

This subject is the maximum chosen one among the aspirants of UPSC CSE. The optional subject should be selected with wisdom because it is responsible for your scores. You have to answer the questions related to that field in the written as well as the interview. You are considered an intellect in the area because you have selected it from the list of the subjects so you must be good at it.

Public Administration will give you knowledge about the entire country’s administration. Therefore, choose the optional subject wisely and select this one if you have an interest in it.

Also Read: Is Public Administration a Good Subject to be Taken in Civils for a Bio Graduate?


Hopefully, this article has been valuable for your preparation journey of the most wonderful and esteemed examination in India. It is not only reputable due to the authority that it brings but it also gives you the power to develop the nation with your service and efforts. Cracking this exam means you become the people’s representative to develop the country in every sense. This is why UPSC is the biggest exam conducted by the CSE.

Public Administration optional subject is one of the most chosen optional subjects among the candidates. Many toppers have gained maximum marks by choosing this subject. The syllabus of the subject is knowledgeable not only for the exam but for life. This subject is chosen because it is easy to score in comparison with other subjects. The subject syllabus is also closely related to general studies.

So you can choose this subject and prepare it excellently. If you want guidance and learning for the UPSC exam, your destination is UPSC Pathshala. The experts will help you in reaching your desired destination.

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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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