Are you an aspiring civil servant preparing for the prestigious UPSC Mains examination? If so, you know that choosing the right optional subject is a critical decision on your journey to success. One of the popular choices for UPSC aspirants is Public Administration, a subject that delves into the intricacies of governance, bureaucracy, and the functioning of government machinery. To help you master this subject and excel in your UPSC Mains, we have compiled a comprehensive set of previous year questions from 2013 to 2023, all related to the ‘Evolution of Indian Administration.’ In this blog series, we will explore the evolution of public administration in India over the past decade, shedding light on the key topics and trends that have shaped the country’s administrative framework. These previous year questions serve as invaluable resources for your exam preparation, providing insights into the UPSC’s expectations and helping you gain a deeper understanding of the subject.
Studying previous year questions is a strategic approach to UPSC preparation, as it not only familiarizes you with the examination pattern but also enables you to grasp the significance of different subtopics within Public Administration. The ‘Evolution of Indian Administration’ is a vital area of study, covering the historical progression, institutional changes, and policy developments in the Indian bureaucracy. As we delve into the questions from 2013 to 2023, we will unravel the nuances of India’s administrative history and explore how it has adapted to meet the evolving needs of the nation. So, whether you are a Public Administration enthusiast or are contemplating choosing it as your optional subject, join us on this enlightening journey through the past decade’s UPSC Mains questions, and equip yourself with the knowledge and insights necessary to ace the examination.
Evolution of Indian Administration – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
1. Kautilya envisages protection, welfare and prosperity of the State and its people as the utmost concern of a ruler. In this context, discuss the significance of Kautilya’s emphasis on governing, accountability and justice in contemporary India. (2021)
2. In the text of Arthashatra, “the State is neither a Police State nor merely a tax gathering State.” Comment. (2019)
3. “In contemporary times, Kautilya’s Arthashatra is relevant more in the field of international relations than in economic affairs.” Analyse the statement. (2016)
4. “Ethics in public services has been the central concern of Kautilya’s Arthashatra.” Critically examine the statement. (2014)
5. “Indian administration is said to be characterised by its three features viz. Weberian structures. Kautilyan practice and Gandhian rhetoric.” Examine the statement. (2014)
6. ‘The Arthashatra is a book of political realism.’ Elaborate. (2012)
7. “The rule of kings depends primarily on written orders ………” Why did Kautilya favour Codification of Laws? (2010)
8. Comment on the view that despite different contexts, administrative maxims of Kautilya’s Arthashastra bear considerable similarity with features of Weber’s ideal bureaucratic model. (2009)
9. “Kautilya was not only the foremost politico-administrative thinker of ancient India but he was an advocate and preacher of moral values too.” Comment. (2007)
10. “In the happiness of his subjects lies the king’s happiness; in their welfare his welfare.” Comment on Kautilyan state administration. In what respects is modern democratic rulers’ behaviour different from Kautilyan rulers? (2006)
11. “The Arthashastra is India’s oldest complete text on public administration.” Comment. (2003)
12. “The machinery of government designed in Kautilya’s Arthashastra does not exactly resemble our modern-day polity, but it does contain some principles which could be said to be the part of today’s science of public administration.” Comment. (2001)
13. “Kautilya’s Arthashastra has significant relevance to the contemporary Indian administration.” Comment. (1998)
14. ‘The principles in Arthashastra do not command as much of our attention as the delineation of the machinery of administration in it…. It reveals the authors mastery of detail, which could have developed only as a result of his actual experience of administration.’ Comment. (1990)
15. ‘It is not possible to maintain that the administrative system, described in Arthashastra was in actual existence during the Mouryan period’. Comment. (1987)
1. “Mughal administrative system was centralised despotism”. Comment. (2022)
2. Mughal administration incorporated a combination of Indian and extra-Indian elements. Discuss. (2020)
3. “A significant legany legacy of the Mughal rule in India is a well-organized revenue administration at the State and District Levels.” Comment. (2016)
4. “The Mughal Administrative System was military rule by nature and a form of centralised despotism.” Analyse. (2012)
5. ‘Some features of Mughal Administration, in essence, do exist in Indian Administration.’ Elaborate. (2008)
6. “The Mughal by nature and was centralized despotism.” Comment. (2005)
7. Trace the evolution of Judicial Administration in India during the Mughal and British periods of Indian History and highlight the major landmarks of this evolution from 1774 to 1911. (1989)
8. “Iqta’, the liwest unit of administration during the Sultanate period was sub-divided ‘Shiqs’. The Shiqdar administrered a number of ‘Paraganas’. A Chaudhari in every paragana and a Patwari in every Village Constituted the Local administration.” Comment. (1988)
Legacy of British rule in politics and administration – Indianization of public services, revenue administration, district administration, local self-government
1. Red – tapism is a major obstacle to the implementation of ‘good governance’. Comment. (2021)
2. The public services in India are an evolution of the British Raj. Trace the Indianization of the services. (2020)
3. “A government next-door is the government that matters most for the people.” Discuss the statement with special reference to the values of local government. (2018)
4. “Climate change issues pose new challenges for district administration to be proactive.” Elaborate. (2018)
5. “Effectiveness of local self-government institutions is hampered bue to the lack of capacity building of the elected representatives.” Elaborate. (2017)
6. “Indianisation of Public Services is a slow but steady process.” Explain. (2017)
7. “The Regulating Act of 1773 not only introduced values in administration but also laid the foundation of centralized administration in India.” Explain. (2016)
8. “The Charter Act of 1853 marked the beginning of parliamentary system in India.” Explain. (2013)
9. It is said that British made a significant contribution towards modernising the Indian Administrative System on a ‘rational-legal’ basis. Justify the assessment with reference to the period from 1830 to 1865. (2010)
10. “Bureaucracy developed by the British stifled the village self-rule.” Comment. (2009)
11. “The main features of British governmental and administrative system continue to influence the present Administrative System.” Comment. (2004)
12. “Though India emerged as a sovereign state after Independence, the administrative system remained the same as was during the British period.” Comment. (2003)
13. “After independence, despite the change in socio-economic and political milieu, the basic features of colonial on administration continues to exist in our administrative system.” Comment. (2002)
14. “The period of British rule generated most of the structural and behavioural values of Indian Administration not by imitation but through interaction.” Comment. (2000)
15. “Under the Company’s rule a distinction was drawn between Regulation and Non-Regulation Provinces.” Comment. (1997)
16. “It is not wholly correct to suggest that British rule had seriously attempted to bring about unity in India’s administration.” Comment. (1996)
17. “The purpose of Clive’s famous ‘double government’ was to mask Company’s sovereignty.” Comment. (1995)
18. Trace the evolution of Judicial Administration in India during the British period and highlight the legacies that persist and the judicial reforms that have followed during the Twentieth Century. (1993)
19. “The generalist-neutralist model of Civil Service, more than any other model of Civil Service, fits in framework of parliamentary democracy in India, a legacy of the British pattern with which Indians have been familiar.” Comment. (1993)
20. “The British colonial administration superimposed the prefectorial system on the historically inherited district administration in India, in the absence of rural local governments at the district level.” Comment. (1993)
21. ‘Lord Ripon was the prophet of local government in India.’ Comment. (1992)
22. ‘The proposals of the Royal Commission on Decentralisation (1907-1909) did little more than echo the resolution of May, 1882, yet even such entirely conservative reforms were postponed for a further ten years: the last of the years of opportunity for British statesmen and officials and they passed away unused.’ Comment. (1990)
23. ‘The Cabinet Committees provide a useful forum for interface between officials and non-officials in participatory situation in “Policy Administration” in a Parliamentary Democracy’. Comment. (1989)
24. ‘Lord Ripon’s Resolution of 1882 has been described as the Magna Carta of Local Self-Government in India. It was a Policy Statement and marked a fundamental change in the basic approach.’ Comment. (1989)
25. “The formative stage of administration, preceding the Indian mutiny of 1857 witnessed a struggle between the ‘Cornwallis’ and ‘Munro’ schools of district administration.” Comment. (1988)
26. Trace the evolution of the system of Public Administration in India from 1858 to 1919, highlighting the major landmarks of this period of administrative history. (1987)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the significance of studying the evolution of Indian Administration for UPSC aspirants?
Answer: Understanding the evolution of Indian Administration is crucial for UPSC aspirants as it provides insights into the historical and contextual foundations of the country’s administrative framework. This knowledge helps candidates appreciate the challenges and changes in the bureaucracy over time, which is essential for answering questions related to contemporary governance and policy-making.
2. How has Indian Administration evolved since independence?
Answer: The Indian Administration has undergone significant changes since independence in 1947. It has evolved from a colonial legacy to a more responsive and participatory system, emphasizing decentralization and local self-governance. The advent of liberalization, privatization, and globalization (LPG reforms) in the 1990s has also had a profound impact on Indian Administration.
3. What are some key milestones in the evolution of Indian Administration?
Answer: Some key milestones include the adoption of the Constitution of India in 1950, the Panchayati Raj system’s introduction, the establishment of planning commissions, and the implementation of various administrative reforms like the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2005). These milestones have shaped the administrative landscape of the country.
4. How does the study of the evolution of Indian Administration help in current governance challenges?
Answer: A thorough understanding of the historical evolution of Indian Administration equips aspirants with the knowledge needed to analyze and suggest solutions to contemporary governance challenges. It enables them to appreciate the complexities of public policy and administration in the context of India’s diverse and dynamic society.
5. Can the study of the evolution of Indian Administration be relevant beyond the UPSC exam?
Answer: Absolutely. The knowledge gained from studying the evolution of Indian Administration is not limited to UPSC exam preparation. It is relevant for individuals interested in government and public policy, as well as professionals working in the field of administration, governance, and public service, as it offers insights into the country’s administrative history and its impact on the present-day system.
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