Are you gearing up for the prestigious UPSC Civil Services Examination? If you’ve chosen Public Administration as your optional subject, you’ve taken a significant step towards understanding the intricacies of governance and administration. In the UPSC Mains, mastering your chosen optional subject is crucial for securing a top rank, and one area that demands special attention is the “Organizations” section. In this blog, we’ll delve into the past decade of UPSC Mains question papers, from 2013 to 2023, and analyze the questions related to the “Organizations” topic in Public Administration. By the end of this journey, you’ll have a clear understanding of the trends, key concepts, and question patterns that will help you ace this section and enhance your overall UPSC Mains performance.
The “Organizations” topic within Public Administration is a pivotal one, as it delves into the structures, functions, and challenges of various administrative bodies, from government departments to public sector undertakings. Analyzing previous year questions is a smart strategy to anticipate the kind of topics and concepts that the UPSC examiners consider important. So, whether you’re a budding aspirant aiming to master this subject or an experienced candidate looking to fine-tune your knowledge, this blog series will be your comprehensive guide to acing the UPSC Mains with a Public Administration optional. Let’s dive into the questions from the past decade and embark on this enlightening journey together.
Organizations Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Theories – Systems, Contingency, Critical theory, post-modernism, poststructuralism
1. Contingency theory of organization is founded on the interplay of ‘external fit’ and ‘internal fit’. Discuss. (2019)
2. “Systems Theory in essence is not a theory, but an approach to the study of adminis-trative phenomena.” Comment. (2017)
3. What are the implications of the post-structuralist perspective on the discrete aspects of Public Administration, coming from its epistemological positions? (2014)
4. How does the Strategic Contingencies Theory of organizational design deal with problems arising from sub-unit centrality and non-substitutability? (2014)
5. (i) ‘The essence of the contingency theory paradigm is that organizational effectiveness results from fitting characteristics of the organization, such as its structure, to contingencies that reflect the situation of the organization.’ Give your reactions to this statement.
(ii) In the light of your discussion on 3(b) (i) above, also show where and hiw this ‘fitting’ differs essentially from the ‘coping’ with ‘stress’ from the environment emphasized by the systems theory of organization. (2012)
6. “The process of change may create crises in the system.” Comment. (1999)
7. Examine the view that systems theory, despite its promises to the contrary, followed similar patterns that characterised the structural classical theories. (1996)
8. How does systems Theory help to delineate functional and dysfunctional characteristics of a public bureaucracy? (1988)
Structure and Forms
1. “Organizations of the future will be organic- adaptive structures but temporary systems.” Discuss how Warren Bennis characterises the new form of organization. (2020)
2. “Markets, hierarchies and networks represent modern governing structures in government.” Explain. (2020)
3. “Form of an organisation influences the success of a public enterprise, but the choice of a form has always remained problematic.” Discuss the comparative merits and limitations of departments, corporations, companies and boards. Give illustrations. (2018)
4. “The notion of informal organisation is a residual or cafeteria concept of diverse and sprawling contents.” How does Gouldner established the need for understanding the interdigitations between the formal and informal organisation? (2014)
5. “A variety of different organizational arrangements can be used to provide different public goods and services.” Explain the theory underlying this proposition and its potential contribution. (2013)
6. “The distinction between line and staff is relative rather than absolute.” Discuss. (2007)
7. A fairly adequate analysis of the Administrative Organization in Government is possible when we treat ‘bureaucracy’ as a ‘structure’ and ‘administration’ as a ‘function’. Discuss. (2001)
8. Why do all administrative organizations consider ‘hierarchy’ as the many splendoured technique? Discuss. (2001)
9. Differentiate between managerial and functional aspects of co-ordination. How is co-ordination achieved? (1998)
10. “Theoretically the Board administration violates the distinction between government and politics because through it politics is injected in the administration.” Comment. (1997)
11. Hierarchic control, whereby instructions are passed down the line is not the only dimension of control. Comment. (1995)
12. “Much of what the recruit learns in an organisation is communicated after the fashion of Bentham’s ‘dog law’.” Discuss. (1995)
13. “The distinction between line authority and professional expertness is also less clear-cut in reality than the abstract concepts of line and staff make it appear.” Discuss. (1994)
14. ‘It is difficult to state any demarcating principle to differentiate between Line and Staff functions of agencies.’ Discuss. (1992)
15. ‘And therefore, Modern Civilization has an unprecedented need of Organisation Development (OD). Comment. (1987)
16. ‘The distinction between line and staff is distinction without a difference.’ Comment. (1987)
Centralization and Decentralization
1. “Centralization inclines toward power and domination. Decentralization, on the other hand, inclines toward competition and self-determination.” Discuss. (1997)
2. “Decentralization is never just a technical exercise, with intentions and effects neatly confined to questions of economy and efficiency.” Comment. (1993)
3. ‘Decentralization has a more important justification than more administrative efficiency.’ Comment. (1992)
4. Account for the growing tendency of central-ization in the modern state. (1991)
5. ‘The essence of delegation is to confer discretion upon others, to use their judgement in meeting specific problems within the framework of their duties.’ Comment. (1991)
6. Explain the impact of privatisation on public administration with special reference to (2010)
(a) The issue of user fees.
(b) Public-private partnership.
(c) Outsourcing technique.
Ministries and Departments, Corporations, Companies
1. “The autonomy of Public Corporations raised a great debate about their internal working and external relation with the Ministers and the Parliament.” Discuss. (2016)
2. “There is no doubt the departmentalisation is fraught with complexities. These are in part technical, in part political.” Discuss. (2009)
3. “To claim that a company or a corporation form is always more effective than an outdated view. The real test of a sound structure is its capacity to balance decisional autonomy and operational flexibility with optimal accountability.” Critically examine this statement. (2008)
4. “Public corporations are not an end in thems-elves but an extension of the government activities designed to promote public welfare.” – Substantiate. (2002)
5. ‘The Departmental pattern of undertaking does not offer the necessary, autonomy, flexibility and entrepreneurship to Management’. Examine. (1992)
6. ‘A Public Corporation is a combination of Public ownership, public accountability and business managements for public ends. Comment. (1991)
Boards and commissions
1. “Departments, Boards and Commissions as forms of organization are dissimilar in the context of accountability and responsibility.” Analyse. (2020)
2. “The Commission form of organisation would tend to be a ‘headless fourth branch’ of government.” Comment. (1999)
Headquarters and Field relationships
1. “An effective Management Information System (MIS) is the key to successful headquarter-field relationships.” Comment. (2018)
2. “Headquarter and Field relationships determine the tendor of implementation of programmes.” Comment. (1998)
1. Regulatory governance frameworks have become essential building blocks of world society. Discuss their potential and impact in fulfilling the hopes and demands. (2022)
2. “The advent of the regulatory regimes indicates the demise of the arbitrator state.” Comment. (2019)
3. “If the Ragulatory Commissions … are wholly independent, they are completely irresponsible for the doing of very important policy determining and administrative work …. on the other hand, to rob the commissions of their independence is seriously to menace the impartial performance of their judicial work.” (Cushman) Examine. (2016)
4. “Delegation to independent agencies has taken place in an interdependent progress driven by emulation.” Discuss in the context of independent regulatory agencies in the modern regulatory State. (2014)
1. Public-private partnership phenomenon has been transformed into a type of governance scheme or mechanism. Discuss its capacity to overcome future challenges. (2021)
2. Discuss the essential characteristics of public sector-centred and market-centred perspectives in Public Private Partnerships and also compare the two. (2018)
3. “PPPs serve too many parties and too many interests … to be focussed.” Identify in the context of the statement, the parties involved in Public-Private Partnerships and their conflicting aims. (2015)
4. “To talk about the regulatory framework is to talk about governance.” Analyse the statement in the context of public-private partnerships and identify the elements of regulation. (2013)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
FAQ 1: What is the significance of studying organizations in Public Administration?
Answer: Understanding organizations is vital in Public Administration because it helps grasp how governmental and non-governmental entities function. It’s crucial for administrators to navigate the complexities of these organizations effectively to implement policies and serve the public efficiently.
FAQ 2: What are the different types of organizations that are typically covered in this topic?
Answer: The “Organizations” topic in Public Administration can include various entities, such as government departments, regulatory bodies, public sector undertakings, international organizations, and non-profit organizations. These can be examined from the perspective of their structure, functions, challenges, and more.
FAQ 3: What are the key challenges often associated with public organizations?
Answer: Common challenges faced by public organizations include bureaucratic red tape, inefficiency, corruption, accountability issues, and the need for constant adaptation to changing socio-political and economic conditions.
FAQ 4: How can I prepare effectively for questions on organizations in the UPSC Mains exam?
Answer: To prepare effectively, review past year questions, understand the organizational structure and functions of key governmental bodies, and stay updated with current affairs related to these organizations. A comprehensive understanding of relevant theories and concepts is also essential.
FAQ 5: Can you provide an example of a typical question related to organizations in Public Administration?
Answer: Certainly! A common question might be, “Discuss the challenges faced by public sector undertakings (PSUs) in India and suggest measures to enhance their efficiency.” This question assesses your knowledge of PSUs’ structure and operations and your ability to provide practical solutions to real-world issues.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here