Navigating the vast landscape of UPSC Mains examination can be a daunting task, especially for aspirants choosing Public Administration as their optional subject. As the key to success lies in understanding the intricacies of each topic, we embark on a comprehensive exploration of Financial Management—a crucial component within the Public Administration syllabus. In this blog series, we will delve into the intricacies of Financial Management as seen through the lens of previous year questions from 2013 to 2023. Unraveling the patterns and trends of these questions can provide invaluable insights, offering aspirants a strategic advantage in their preparation. Join us on this insightful journey as we decode the nuances of Financial Management and equip you with the knowledge necessary to tackle this UPSC optional subject with confidence.
The Public Administration Optional Topic – Wise Previous Year Questions series serves as a beacon for UPSC aspirants seeking clarity and direction in their preparation. Financial Management, being a pivotal aspect of public administration, demands a nuanced understanding of its theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. Through an in-depth analysis of questions posed in the past decade, this blog aims to streamline your preparation process, helping you focus on key areas and concepts that are frequently examined by the UPSC. Whether you are a novice in the realm of Financial Management or a seasoned aspirant looking to fine-tune your knowledge, this series promises to be a valuable resource in your UPSC Mains journey. Let’s embark on this academic exploration together, unraveling the mysteries of Financial Management in the context of the Civil Services Examination.
Financial Management – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Budget as a political instrument
1. Budget proposals in the Parliament/ State Legislatures fail to ensure their effective scrutiny. Identify the factors which constrain effective scrutiny of the budget proposals. (2021)
2. Budget is an indicator of financial health of a polity which is reflected in the statement of income and expenditure. Discuss. (2020)
3. “Gnder budgeting requires rethinking beyond allocations to become a powerful tool of gender mainstreaming.” Discuss. (2018)
4. “Performance management requires identification of indicators and measures to ensure that goals are achieved efficiently.” Discuss. (2018)
5. What merits do you foresee in the proposed merger of the Railway Budget with the General Budget? (2016)
6. Explain how budget can be used as a political instrument. (2015)
7. “Gender responsive budgeting has infused greater accountability of planning departments towards women empowerment programs.” Examine the statement. (2014)
8. “Performance budgeting failed because it was applied to sectors/programmes where quantitative evaluation was not feasible.” Examine the principles underlying performance budgeting techniques. (2013)
9. What is an output-based performance budgeting system? Analyse this system in the context of India. (2012)
10. ‘The Budget is more than the economic horoscope of the nation.’ Comment. (2008)
11. “The policy of the government is reflected by various items of the budget.” Explain by distinguishing between a commercial budget and a government budget. (2001)
Parliamentary control of public expenditure
1. The strategy to deal with the non-performing assets of banks may lead to overburdened taxpayers. Examine the role of government to protect the interests of both. (2019)
2. Justify the constitutional provision to treat certain expenditure as charged upon the Consolidated Fund of India. (2013)
3. ‘Questions represent a powerful technique of parliamentary control over expenditure.’ Explain. (2012)
4. The optimism expressed by the proponents of the Financial Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003, in ensuring fiscal discipline appears to be unwarranted. Comment. (2010)
5. “Parliamentary Departmental Committees have played their role effectively in analysing the demands for grants.” Evaluate. (2007)
6. “Public Accounts Committee conducts a post-mortem examination of Public Accounts.” Comment. (2005)
7. “The Estimates Committee is – ‘a continuous economy committee’.” Comment. (2004)
8. “Questions represent a powerful technique of parliamentary control over expenditure.” Comment. (2003)
9. “Control over public expenditure is an essential feature of accountable and responsible financial administration.” In the light of this statement discuss various methods of control over public expenditure which are exercised by the Indian Parliament. (2001)
10. “The Public Accounts Committee is probably the best medium through the eyes of which the taxpayer sees what has been done with his money.” Comment. (1999)
11. “The main function of the Public Accounts Committee is to ascertain that the money granted by Parliament has been spent by the government within the scope of the demand.” Comment. (1997)
12. “The Estimates Committee merely gives a big list of advices.” Comment. (1995)
13. ‘Public Accounts Committee of Parliament is the real watch dog of financer of Union Govt.’ Comment. (1992)
14. ‘Whereas the control over expenditure, as well as on actual expenditure, incurred after the accounts are closed and audited, is essential, it appears to be neither necessary nor desirable to scrutinise the estimate before their inclusion in the budget in a parliamentary system of government.’ Comment. (1990)
15. What have you to suggest to make legislative control over public administration healthy and purposeful? (1987)
Role of finance ministry in monetary and fiscal area
1. Performance grants devolved by Finance Commission of India have increased the financial accountability of the local bodies. Elaborate. (2019)
2. Justify the budgetary support to nationalized banks to overcome the crisis resulting out of NonPerforming Assets (NPA). (2016)
3. Examine the role of the Finance Ministry of the Union Government in designing and implementing monetary and fiscal policies. (2009)
1. “Accounting is the essence of producing promptly and clearly the facts relating to financial conditions and operations that are required as a basis of management.” Substantiate the statement in the context of accounting methods and techniques in government. (2013)
1. “Social audit has lent a critical edge to the implementation of programmes such as MGNREGA.” Comment. (2018)
2. “The concept of social audit is more comprehensive that of traditional audit.” Comment. (2013)
3. “Audit, like the judiciary, the executive and the legislature is one of the important ingredients of democracy.” Comment. (2006)
4. “Audit provides a healthy safeguard against public money going down the drain.” Comment. (2005)
Role of Controller General of Accounts and Comptroller and Auditor General of India
1. Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is today a primary cause of widespread and paralysing unwillingness on the part of government institutions to decide and act. Discuss. (2022)
2. The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India stands on the pillar of autonomy. Discuss the major lacunae in the functioning of this constitutional body and also suggest measures for its strengthening. (2020)
3. “The Office of the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) is expected to strengthen public financial management in India.” Discuss its mandate. (2017)
4. Discuss the changes in the powers of Controller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, following a recent Supreme Curt judgement concerning a private service provider. (2014)
5. “Social auditing of flagship programmes of the Central government facilitates the performance of the Comptroller and Auditor-General.” Elaborate the statement with appropriate examples. (2014)
6. Comment on the following statement:
“The Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) of India is a prosecutor with a law that hobbles its functioning, a judge without the power to sentence and a litigant with no right to appeal.” (2011)
7. “The role of Comptroller and Auditor General is a limited one.” Comment. (2002)
8. “It is the audit of propriety that distinguishes the audit of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) from the audit made by any professional auditor.” Comment. (2001)
9. Do you think the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s role is to maintain the dignity, independence, detachment of outlook and fearlessness necessary for a fair, impartial and dispassionate assessment’ of the actions of the executive in the financial field? Give arguments. (1999)
10. “CAG should be watch-dog and not a blood-hound.” Comment. (1998)
11. “CAG is the friend, philosopher and guide of the Public Accounts Committee.” Comment. (1996)
12. “The Comptroller and Auditor General’s audit of Public Undertakings is an effective instrument of parliamentary control, but the form, content and the approach of this audit have affected the efficiency and profitability of the Public Undertakings in India.” Comment. (1993)
13. ‘The office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India is a Constitutional device to ensure parliamentary accountability, federal supervision and expert administrative control over expenditure in the Financial administration of the nation.’ Comment. (1991)
14. “Unlike Finance Ministry, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India do not control public expenditure. He only offers an objective-oriented mechanism which is conductive to popular control of public expenditure.” Comment. (1988)
15. “As an auditor, the Comptroller and Auditor-General’s functions and authority are wider and more comprehensive that those exercised by professional auditors.” Comment. (1994)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is the significance of Financial Management in the context of Public Administration for UPSC?
Financial Management plays a pivotal role in public administration by ensuring efficient allocation and utilization of financial resources. Aspirants need to understand its importance in the broader governance framework to address issues related to fiscal policies, budgeting, and financial accountability. This knowledge is critical for crafting well-informed and effective responses in the UPSC Mains examination.
Q: How can a candidate effectively prepare for Financial Management in the UPSC Mains exam?
Successful preparation involves a combination of understanding theoretical concepts and practicing application through previous year questions. Aspirants should focus on mastering budgetary processes, financial controls, and fiscal policies. Additionally, staying updated on current economic trends and government financial initiatives is essential. Regular practice and revision are key to developing a strong command over Financial Management topics.
Q: What are the key areas within Financial Management that are frequently tested by UPSC?
UPSC tends to emphasize topics such as budgeting, financial accountability, fiscal policies, and financial reforms. Questions often explore the theoretical foundations and practical implications of these concepts. Aspirants should prioritize these areas in their preparation and be well-versed in both the theoretical aspects and real-world applications of Financial Management.
Q: How does an understanding of Financial Management contribute to effective governance and public policy implementation?
A sound grasp of Financial Management is crucial for policymakers to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, taxation, and public expenditure. It ensures that government initiatives are financially sustainable and effectively contribute to socio-economic development. Aspirants should be able to articulate how Financial Management principles can be applied to enhance governance and policy implementation.
Q: Are there any contemporary issues related to Financial Management that aspirants should be aware of for UPSC preparation?
Yes, staying informed about current issues is essential. Aspirants should be aware of recent government budgetary allocations, financial reforms, and economic challenges facing the country. Questions in the UPSC Mains examination may often draw on contemporary financial issues, requiring candidates to apply their knowledge to analyze and propose solutions. Regularly following financial news and policy developments is, therefore, a valuable aspect of UPSC preparation in this context.
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