Embarking on the challenging journey of preparing for the UPSC Mains examination, aspirants often seek comprehensive resources to navigate through the vast syllabus. One crucial aspect of this journey is mastering the optional subjects, and for many, Public Administration stands as a popular choice. In this blog series, we delve into the intricacies of the Public Administration optional paper, focusing specifically on the Rural Development section. Over the years, the UPSC has consistently tested candidates on their understanding of rural development policies, governance mechanisms, and grassroots-level administration. By analyzing and dissecting the previous year questions from 2013 to 2023, we aim to provide aspirants with valuable insights, helping them formulate a strategic approach to tackle this specific dimension of the Public Administration syllabus. Join us as we unravel the trends, patterns, and key concepts that have shaped the Rural Development questions in the UPSC Mains, offering a roadmap for effective preparation and success in this highly competitive examination.
Rural Development – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Institutions and agencies since independence
1. “District Planning Committee (DPC) has been the weakest structure in the local self-government mechanism in India.” Analyse with examples (2017)
2. “The growing prominence of NGOs in development areas is strongly related to the declining legitimacy of the State.” Explain. (2016)
3. “Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have contributed to a change in the role of rural women in development – from symbolic participation to empowerment.” Discuss. (2013)
4. “Absence of District Planning Committees in a large number of districts has prevented convergence of planning at the district level.” Examine the above statement with examples. (2011)
5. “Non – Governmental Organisations play a catalytic role in enabling communities to define their own priorities…….” Comment. (2010)
6. “Although District Planning Committee and Metropolitan Planning Committees have been provided, those remain mostly on paper.” Comment. (2001)
7. “The most momentous recommendation of the Ashoka Mehta Committee was the creation of a two-tier system of panchayati Raj.” Examine the statement. (1997)
8. “The District Rural Development Agency is presently serving as the nodal agency of rural development at the district level.” Explain. (1997)
9. “The most important feature of the second generation panchayats is their change from local developmental organization to local political institutions.” Comment. (1995)
10. “Conceptually, district planning introduces a spatial dimension to the planning process at the state level.” Examine, in this context, the role of district planning in practice in different states. (1997)
11 ‘District Planning in India has been the dream of the technocrat, the promise of the democrat and a vanishing trick of the political administration. The nature and working of the district planning achinery are a mute witness to these.’ Comment. (1991)
12. The real problem with Panchayati Raj institutions is to promote efficiency in the implementation of the rural development programmes and to ensure social and economic justice to the poor in the country side.’ Examine the past experience of working of Panchayati Raj and Suggest specific constitutional measures to enforce genuine decentralisation in the light of the above statement. (1990)
13. ‘As the Panchayati Democracy descends down to the hustings, the Office of the ‘Collector’, like that of the ‘Governor’ tends to become anachronistic in the Federal Political System of India.’ Examine the Statement. (1989)
Rural development programmes: foci and strategies
1. Rural development programmes are designed to facilitate multifaceted growth of rural poor. Evaluate the role of some key rural development programmes in India in this context. (2021)
2. No rural development strategy can succeed unless it is complemented by appropriate Panchayati Raj Institutions. Examine.
3. All weather rural connectivity scheme to even unconnected rural habitations has the potential to transform the rural economy. Do you agree? Justify. (2019)
4. ” Rural development programmes have failed to effectively address the problems of small and marginal farmers.” Analyse and give suggestions. (2018)
5. What are the basic hurdles and pitfalls in the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act? (2008)
6. “The special development programmes taken up for poverty alleviation with a hope that benefits of these programmes may reach to the people living below poverty line – have utterly failed to achieve its objectives.” Comment. (2004)
7. “Women’s development programmes of recent have shifted from welfarist approach to empowerment of women.” -Elaborate. (2002)
8. “The machinery for welfare administration at the national and state level trickling down to grassroots becomes meaningless in the context of global constitutionalism.” Discuss. (2002)
9. “Rural and urban development programmes have gained in importance, but implementation has been a failure.” Comment. (2002)
10. “Despite the serious commitment on the part of the government, the benefits of the rural development programmes do not seem to reach the intended targets and they fail to serve fully the purpose for which they were intended.” Elucidate. (2001)
11. “The failure of I.R.D.P. is attributed to its over-powering centralized approach.” Comment. (1999)
12. “Rural development programmes in India suffer from lack of co-ordination and a sound appraisal system.” Comment. (1998)
13. “In rural development, people are the starting point centre and end goal of all development programmes.” Comment. (1995)
14. “Special development programmes seek to solve special problems, but their successful implementation depends on complex inter-institutional linkages.” Comment. (1995)
15. “The resource base and the social and cultural heritage of our Scheduled Tribe population is getting eroded through a combinations, commercial exploitation and ineffective legal and administrative systems.” Comment. (1994)
16. Attempt an evaluation of various welfare programmes, sponsored by the Central and State governments and district level agencies, for the development of women and children, accounting for their success or failure. (1993)
17. “A holistic approach to Integrated Rural Development implies strengthening and regulating the sectoral and spatial interactions and linkages and transformation of the rural habitat.” Comment. (1993)
18. Evaluate the administrative experience of Rural Development Schemes or Programmes in the area of Social Justice during last two decades. What role should the voluntary agencies play in the administration of Social welfare to ameliorate the conditions of women in the villages? (1989)
19. Identify the major inadequacies in the administration of the welfare programmes of the weaker sections. Suggest effective strategies and proper implementation and to enhance beneficiary faction. (1988)
20. “The rural development programs have helped only those who are on the fence of the poverty line. The ‘guest schemes’ have lots of organisational overlap and the lack of ‘orchestration of development effort’ has pushed the ‘real poor’ into a state of destitution,.” Comment. (1988)
21. ‘The administrative problems of Integrated Rural Development Problem include the most fatal but common cold of public administration-the sheer difficulty of doing ordinary things.’ Comment. (1987)
Decentralization and Panchayati Raj
1. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts aimed at making the third tier of government more powerful and effective for democratic decentralization. Critically examine the extent to which this goal has been transformed into reality. (2021)
2. Panchayati Raj Institutions are still plagued by state control and domination of bureaucracy. Argue your case. (2020)
3. The evidences suggest that the dream of deliberative democracy could not be realized in practice at the grassroot level. Evaluate the impediments in the functioning of Gram Sabha. (2019)
4. “The institution of Gram Sabha has very little connection with the Gandhian spirit of direct democracy.” Critically examine. (2017)
5. Do you think that the functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), in practice, reflects genuine devolution of powers and resources? Give reasons for your answer. (2015)
6. Do you think that the role of Panchayati Raj should go beyond development Administration? Give reasons for your answer. (2014)
7. “The second generation reforms in the Panchayati Raj institutions have changed Panchayats from an agency of development at local level into a political institution.” Discuss. (2013)
8. “Use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Panchayat’s functions enhances efficiency, transparency and accountability and also induces mass ICT culture.” Examine. (2013)
9. ‘Panchayati Raj Institutions are still affected by State control and domination by bureaucracy.’ Do you agree? (2012)
10. “The Panchayati Raj institutions at grass-roots level are ensuring greater peoples participation and involvement in development work.” Comment. (1996)
73rd Constitutional amendment
1. Despite the constitutional provisions for representation, the voice of weaker sections is not having the desired impact in the realms of Panchayati Raj Institutions. Critically examine. (2020)
2. “The 73rd Amendment, it is felt, may accentuate fiscal indiscipline by establishing between States and Local Governments a system of transfers similar to the one in place between the Central and State Government.” (World Bank) Comment. (2013)
3. ‘Economic Development and Social Justice are the hallmarks of the 1992 Constitutional Amendment Acts.’ Elucidate. (2008)
4. “73rd Constitutional Amendment has provided permanent structural framework to PRI’s resulting into silent social revolution.” Comment. (2007)
5. “The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments are major landmarks in India’s Constitutional History and Local Governance.” Comment. (2006)
6. “Even after a decade of having adopted the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, the Panchayat Raj institution still faces a number of problems towards making it a strong and vibrant unit of Government.” Comment. (2005)
7. The role of local self-government in the state administration is of considerable importance. Evaluate the statement in the context of the 73rd and 74th amendments made. (2002)
8. “The State Finance Commission under Panchayat Raj Law is designed to ensure regional balance in the distribution of State and Central Funds.” Comment. (1998)
9. Discuss some of the State models of Panchayati Raj in the Uniform Constitutional frame of 73rd Amendment with special reference to Panchayati Polls, grassroot justice, local finances and centrally sponsored development programmes. (1993)
10. ‘The political will at higher levels seems hesitating to go wholehog for democratising the entire field administration. So long as this trend would persist, we would be having successive Committee Reports pinpointing same ailments of Panchayati Raj and prescriptions to restore its health,’ Elucidate the achievements and failures of the Panchayati Raj Institutions in the context of this statement. (1991)
11. “It is unrealistic to attempt to eliminate political parties from Panchayati Polls…. The issue is how to get these parties to provide good government at the local level?” Comment. (1988)
12. ‘The Panchayati Raj bodies do provide an appropriate forum for effecting welfare of Weaker Sections, including the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes through decisionmaking and programme implementation processes at local level.’ Comment. (1987)
PESA Act, 1996
1. The main objective of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 is to enable tribal society to assume control over their livelihoods and traditional rights. Critically examine the implementation of the Act. (2022)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Why is Rural Development important in the context of UPSC Mains examination?
Rural Development is a significant topic in the UPSC Mains examination as it tests candidates on their knowledge of policies, schemes, and governance structures aimed at uplifting rural areas. Understanding the challenges and solutions in rural development is crucial for aspiring civil servants, given the importance of inclusive growth and sustainable development in India.
Q: What are the key components of Rural Development covered in UPSC Mains questions?
UPSC often poses questions that span a range of topics within Rural Development. Aspirants should be well-versed in areas such as rural governance, Panchayati Raj institutions, poverty alleviation programs, agricultural policies, and sustainable development initiatives. A comprehensive understanding of these components is essential for success in the examination.
Q: How have Rural Development questions evolved over the years in UPSC Mains?
Analyzing the evolution of Rural Development questions in UPSC Mains can provide valuable insights for aspirants. By understanding the changing patterns and emphasis on certain topics, candidates can tailor their preparation strategy to align with the current trends and expectations of the examiners.
Q: What resources are recommended for effective preparation in Rural Development for UPSC Mains?
Aspirants often seek guidance on the best study materials and resources for Rural Development. From standard textbooks to government reports and contemporary articles, a diverse range of sources is beneficial. This FAQ aims to provide recommendations for comprehensive preparation, ensuring candidates are well-equipped to tackle questions related to rural development.
Q: How can practical knowledge in Rural Development be integrated into UPSC Mains preparation?
While theoretical understanding is crucial, practical knowledge of ground-level challenges and success stories in rural development can enhance a candidate’s answers. This FAQ explores ways in which aspirants can supplement their preparation by staying informed about real-world rural development projects, case studies, and implementation challenges.
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