Welcome to our blog series dedicated to helping UPSC Mains aspirants excel in the challenging field of Public Administration. In this series, we will delve into the nuances of the optional subject, one topic at a time. Today, we kick off with a comprehensive exploration of Administrative Law, focusing on previous year questions from 2013 to 2023. The UPSC Civil Services Mains examination is renowned for its rigorous evaluation of a candidate’s knowledge and analytical abilities, making the Public Administration optional subject an essential part of the journey towards a career in the Indian Administrative Services (IAS) or other civil services.
Administrative Law is a critical component of this optional subject, and to succeed, aspirants must not only understand its principles but also be well-versed in its application. To assist you in your preparation, we have compiled a curated list of previous year questions on Administrative Law. By analyzing these questions, you can gain valuable insights into the type of topics and concepts that are frequently tested by the UPSC, helping you tailor your study strategy for maximum success. Whether you are a seasoned aspirant looking to fine-tune your knowledge or a beginner taking your first steps in the world of UPSC preparation, this blog series will be a valuable resource to aid your journey towards becoming a successful civil servant. So, let’s dive into the world of Administrative Law and explore the past decade of UPSC questions to sharpen your skills and enhance your understanding of this vital subject.
Administrative Law Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Meaning, scope and significance
1. “Arbitrariness in the application of rule of law is a primary cause of poor governance.” Discuss. (2020)
2. “Developments in the field of Administrative Law reflect an increasingly blurred boundary between the state and society, and between justice and administration.” Has administrative law become more constitutional than the Constitution itself? Argue. (2020)
3. “Red light and Green light theories provide contrasting approaches to the role of administrative law.” Which of the two theories will be effective in achieving the objectives of administrative law? Justify your choice. (2019)
4. “Administrative law is recognised by its substance rather than its form.” Discuss. (2017)
5. The central concern of Administrative Law has been the legal limitation of administrative discretion.” Give reasons. (2016)
6. “The conceptual division between administrative and constitutional law is quite porous, and that along many dimensions, administrative law can be considered more constitutional in character than the constitutions.” How would you justify the statement? (2014)
7. 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? (2012)
8. Why is le droit administrative regarded alongside the Napoleonic Code as the most notable achievement of French legal science? (2012)
9. “Today the content of administrative law is driven primarily by the scope of public administrative activity.” Explain. (2006)
10. “Today the content of administrative law is driven primarily by the scope of public administration activity.” Explain. (2005)
11. “Administrative Law in modern government system is inevitable.” Comment. (1998)
12. The central concern of administrative law has been the legal limitation of administrative ‘discretion.’ Comment. (1997)
13. The field of administrative law, after a century of litigation & adjudication, remains alive with simmering issues. Comment. (1995)
14. “Administrative law is not a rigid, rule-bound barrier to good management.” Discuss. (1994)
15. How has the interest of judiciary in administrative decisions grown over the years? Has it extended the frontiers of administrative law? (1993)
16. ‘Rule of law is the base of India’s constitutional life, and administrative law seeks to ensure that this basic premise remains upheld and protected.’ Comment. (1992)
17. ‘…… administrative law, with its creature administrative tribunals, is like martial law, the negation of law.’ Comment. (1990)
18. “Administrative Law has the obligation to observe the principles of natural justice and fairness.” Elaborate. (1989)
Dicey on Administrative law
1. “The Journey of Administrative Law has moved much beyond A.V. Dicey.” Comment. (2018)
2. Do you think that there is an unresolved and often overlooked tension in Dicey’s concept of rule of law, considering that the other principle of parliamentary sovereignty in English constitutional system runs counter to it? (2012)
3. Make a critical assessment of Dicey’s understanding of the Rule of Law and Droit Administratif. (2011)
4. “Dicey was wrong not only in his concept of the rule of law, but he also overlooked the significance of the administrative law.” – Comment. (2002)
5. ‘The Droit Administratiff violates Dicey’s basic principles of Rule of Law.’ Comment. (1987)
1. ‘The administrative state is the creation of a power to bind us, with rules… that are not made by legislature.’ Discuss the constitutionality of the administrative state and its future. (2022)
2. “Delegated Legislation has become a strategic tool in the hands of the executive despite its utility.” Comment. (2019)
3. The principle of delegated legislation, is I think right, I must emphasise that it is well for Parliament to keep a watchful and even zealous eye on it at all stages” – (Herbert Morrison). (2017)
4. “Delegated Legislation is a necessary evil.” Comment. (2015)
5. Make out a case for Delegated Legislation. (2011)
6. “Delegated legislation is a necessary evil.” Examine. (2007)
7. Delegated Legislation is not absolute. Explain. (2004)
8. “Increased delegated legislation is a phenomenon of a modern positive state.” Elucidate. (1999)
9. How fae is it true to state that delegated legislation has become a present day necessity and it has come to stay, it is both inevitable and indispensable? (1997)
10. Bring out the reasons for the growth and the dangers of delegated legislation. (1995)
11. “The most effective safeguard against the abuse of delegated legislation is not to delegate it in such a manner that it may invite abuse.” Comment. (1993)
12. ‘Increased legislative delegation should be considered as a phenomenon of the modern positive state.’ Discuss. (1992)
1. All tribunals are courts, but all courts are not tribunals. Explain. (2022)
2. Judicial review, prevention of misuse or abuse of administrative power and provision of suitable remedies are the basic principles of administrative law. Justify as how various organs of the State are able to uphold these principles. (2021)
3. Discuss the views 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 look over the functions of High Courts.” (2013)
4. Write short note on Effectiveness and utility of Central and State Administrative Tribunals. (2000)
5. Administrative Tribunals are authorities outside the ordinary court system which interpret and apply the laws when acts of Public Administration are attacked in formal suits or by other established methods.’ Discuss. (1991)
6. Administrative tribunals and judicial review are not only instruments of interpretation of law but also safeguards against administrative weaknesses and administrative excesses. Comment. (1988)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is Administrative Law, and why is it important?
A: Administrative Law is a branch of public law that governs the activities and procedures of government agencies and administrative bodies. It plays a vital role in ensuring that administrative actions are fair, just, and within the bounds of the law. It’s important because it helps maintain the rule of law, protects individual rights, and provides a legal framework for the functioning of government institutions.
Q: What are the key principles of Administrative Law?
A: Some fundamental principles of Administrative Law include the principles of natural justice, rule against bias, reasonableness, legitimate expectation, and the right to be heard. These principles guide the conduct of administrative authorities, ensuring that their decisions are fair and lawful.
Q: How does Administrative Law differ from Constitutional Law?
A: Administrative Law primarily deals with the organization, powers, functions, and procedures of administrative agencies and the rights and liabilities arising from their decisions. Constitutional Law, on the other hand, focuses on the structure and powers of government as a whole, including the rights and freedoms of citizens vis-à-vis the state.
Q: What is judicial review in Administrative Law?
A: Judicial review is a process by which the courts examine the legality and constitutionality of administrative decisions. It allows individuals and organizations to challenge administrative actions in court if they believe that the decision was arbitrary, unreasonable, or in violation of their rights.
Q: How can I prepare for Administrative Law in UPSC or other competitive exams?
A: To prepare for Administrative Law in competitive exams like UPSC, it’s essential to understand the key concepts, landmark cases, and recent developments in this field. Study from standard textbooks, analyze previous year questions, and practice writing answers to gain a deeper insight into the subject. Additionally, joining coaching programs or discussion groups can help in clarifying doubts and gaining different perspectives on the subject.
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