Welcome to our exploration of the Public Administration Optional Topic – Wise Previous Year Questions in UPSC Mains, with a specific focus on Administrative Reforms since Independence (2013-2023). Aspiring civil servants know that a nuanced understanding of public administration is crucial for success in the UPSC examinations. In this blog series, we delve into the past decade’s examination papers to dissect and analyze questions related to Administrative Reforms since Independence. By revisiting these questions, we aim to provide valuable insights into the evolving nature of administrative reforms in India, the challenges faced, and the solutions proposed. Whether you are a UPSC aspirant looking for targeted preparation or someone keen on understanding the dynamics of administrative changes over the years, join us on this intellectual journey through the annals of public administration in India.
In the realm of civil services examinations, the Public Administration optional has been a key area that demands not just rote memorization but a deep understanding of administrative theories and their practical applications. Administrative Reforms since Independence is a critical facet of this optional paper, reflecting the evolving nature of governance in India. Through an examination of the questions posed in the last decade, we aim to unravel the patterns, the emphasis given to specific aspects, and the evolving perspectives of the UPSC in evaluating candidates on this topic. Join us in deciphering the complexities of administrative reforms, exploring the historical context, and gaining a holistic view of the challenges and innovations in public administration that have shaped the Indian bureaucracy. This blog series is not just about answering past questions but about fostering a comprehensive understanding that will empower aspirants to approach any question on Administrative Reforms with confidence and insight.
Administrative Reforms since Independence – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
1. Traditionally structured administrative systems have outlived their utility. Discuss as how administrative reforms can revamp, restructure and redesign the existing governmental structure to meet the new challenges faced by the Indian administration set-up. (2021)
2. Implementation of administrative reforms is humongous and arduous. What lacks the push to realize the changes? (2020)
3. Considerable attention has been paid to the restructuring of the administrative systems at the Central and local levels, but very few reforms have been undertaken at the State level. What steps would you suggest to rectify it? (2019)
4. “Excellent ideas but poor implementation have charactersed the administrative reforms in India since Independence.” Critically examine the statement giving examples from the Union and State Governments. (2015)
5. “Unimplemented reforms in administration weaken the administrative reforms process most.” Do you agree? Give your answer citing specific cases as illustrations. (2014)
6. ‘Efforts made towards administrative reforms so far have been lacking in congruence between strategy, structure and substance.’ Discuss with illustrations. (2012)
7. “The real problem of administrative reforms in India at the State and the local levels is that they are imposed from above.” Comment. (2011)
8. “Administrative reforms get diluted because of constant tinkering on the margin rather than a holistic transformation.” Discuss the statement in the context of reforming district administration in India. (2011)
9. With reference to India, discuss the assertion that administrative reforms are multi-dimensional and need to be substantiated by reforms in other related areas of state action. (2010)
10. In your view, which have been the five most important administrative reforms implemented after Independence? What has been their impact? (2009)
11. “All efforts in the field of reforms in public administration by the political executive have resulted in no significant output.” Comment. (2006)
12. “Efforts made towards administrative reforms so far have been lacking in a congruence between strategy, structure and substance.” Comment. (2005)
13.“In spite of valuable suggestions through Administrative Reforms, still we have not been able to come up to the expectations of the people.” Discuss. (2004)
14. “The problems of administrative improvement in India are larger and more complex than in any other country in the world.”-Comment. (2002)
15. “Administrative Reforms in India are not necessarily the result of the recommendations of any specific committees or commissions.” Comment. (2001)
16. “Most administrative reforms have a political cost.” Comment. (2000)
17. Do you agree with the view that the Indian reform effort has been conservative or orthodox, not breaking radically never ground, but only modifying the existing structures and process? Give arguments. (1999)
18. In tune with the winds of administrative change blowing throughout the world, the Indian administration restructuring in the nineteen ninety. What are these initiatives and how effective have they been? (1998)
19. “The success of administrative reforms in a country like India depends upon political as well as administrative will.” Comment. (1998)
Important Committees and Commissions
1. To strengthen the Election Commission of India and its commissioners is the need of the hour. Suggest measures to make it more independent and impartial. (2020)
2. “The recommendations of various commissions on administrative reforms have not made a radical departure from the Paul Appleby Report.” Do you agree? Give reasons. (2018)
3. “The Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) makes a strong case for the principle of subsidiarity.” Elaborate. (2017)
4. Do you agree that the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations do not reflect and correlate the need for civil services reforms and accountability with pay increase? Justify your answer. (2016)
5. What are the major concerns of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on Civil Service reforms? Indicate the current status of their implementation. (2015)
6. The 13th Finance Commission highlighted an indispensable need to improve the finances of rural and urban level bodies. Des this make local bodies more accountable in the discharge of their functions? (2014)
7. Explain the important recommendations of V.T. Krishnamachary Committee (1962) on Indian and State Administrative Services and problems of District Administration. (2013)
8. Discuss the recommendations of the Sarkaria Commission in respect of the National Development Council for improving Centre-State planning relations. (2012)
9. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission, in its 10th Report, observes that “the common perception is that the incentive structure in government is too weak and inadequate to motivate better performance.” Elucidate. (2010)
10. Briefly discuss the main recommendations of any two of the following: (2009)
(i) Paul Appleby (1953 and 1956),
(ii) Santhanam Committee,
(iii) Hota Committee,
(iv) Sixth Pay Commission
11. “The recommendations of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission on reforming the Civil Service are radical yet implementable.” Do you agree? (2009)
12. National Commission to review the working of the Constitution has suggested revolutionary changes in administrative culture. Analyse its major recommendations on Civil Services and Administration. (2007)
Reforms in financial management and human resource development
1. “Financial inclusion needs legal backing but it also requires increasing awareness for it to become a reality.” Discuss. (2018)
2. “Public Administration today tends to be less public in quantitative terms, but more responsive to public needs than before in qualitative terms.” Examine with reference to citizen-centric administration. (2013)
3. Describe the changing character and new orientations of Public Services in India since Independence. (2008)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the key objectives of administrative reforms since Independence in India?
This question delves into the overarching goals that successive governments have aimed to achieve through administrative reforms. Responses may include enhancing efficiency, transparency, accountability, and responsiveness of the administrative machinery.
Q: How have administrative reforms evolved over the decades, and what are the notable milestones in this journey?
Exploring the historical progression of administrative reforms provides insights into the changing socio-economic and political landscapes. Candidates should be prepared to discuss significant reform initiatives and their impact on the functioning of the bureaucracy.
Q: What role do administrative reforms play in addressing challenges such as corruption and red tape in the Indian bureaucratic system?
This question seeks to assess the understanding of aspirants regarding the practical implications of administrative reforms in mitigating longstanding issues like corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. Responses should highlight specific reform measures and their impact on these challenges.
Q: How do administrative reforms contribute to the concept of good governance?
Good governance is a key aspect of modern administrative discourse. Aspirants should be able to articulate how various reform measures have been aligned with the principles of good governance, fostering greater citizen participation, equity, and justice.
Q: In what ways have recent administrative reforms addressed the demands of a rapidly changing global and technological landscape?
This question assesses the aspirant’s awareness of the contemporary challenges faced by the administrative setup and how recent reforms have adapted to the demands of globalization, technological advancements, and other evolving factors. Responses should reflect an understanding of the intersection between administrative reforms and the changing world scenario.
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