Embarking on the journey to crack the UPSC Mains examination demands meticulous preparation and a comprehensive understanding of the chosen optional subjects. For many aspirants, Public Administration stands out as a preferred choice, offering insights into the intricacies of Indian governance. In this blog series, we delve into the past decade’s worth of UPSC Mains questions on the Public Administration optional topic, specifically focusing on “Significant Issues in Indian Administration” from 2013 to 2023. By meticulously analyzing the previous year’s questions, aspirants can gain valuable insights into the evolving trends, key focus areas, and the depth of knowledge required to tackle this crucial section of the examination. Join us on this insightful exploration as we unravel the nuances of the UPSC Public Administration Optional – a subject that not only shapes administrative acumen but also plays a pivotal role in shaping the future leaders of the Indian bureaucracy.
As we navigate through the significant issues in Indian administration over the past decade, the blog aims to provide aspirants with a roadmap for effective preparation. Each question serves as a window into the UPSC examiner’s mindset, offering a glimpse of the areas deemed vital for assessing a candidate’s understanding of public administration. Through this series, we aim to decode the underlying themes, recurrent topics, and the evolving dynamics of administrative challenges faced by the country. Whether you are a seasoned aspirant seeking a strategic review of past questions or a newcomer aiming to grasp the pulse of the Public Administration optional, this blog series is tailored to equip you with the knowledge and insights necessary to tackle the UPSC Mains examination with confidence. So, let’s embark on this intellectual journey together and unravel the layers of Public Administration’s significance in the context of Indian governance.
Significant Issues in Indian Administration – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Values in public service
1. In India, for the upliftment of majority of people, governmental intervention remains a central fact of life. Nevertheless, the effective implementation of policies depends on the ethical values of Public Servants. Discuss. (2022)
2. Recent market approaches to public services present serious challenges to traditional and statesponsored public service values. Evaluate the statement in the context of Indian administration. (2021)
3. “In a democratic polity, any conception of ethics and integrity in public life most encompass not only politicians and civil servants but also citizens.” Dscuss. (2016)
4. “The President of India acts like grand-parent in a family. If younger generation does not follow his/her advice, he/she is just unable to do anything.” Comment. (2007)
1. Examine the role of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in protecting the interests of the investors in securities. (2022)
2. Accountability of regulatory bodies would address the problem of over-regulation and help make truly facilitators. Analyze the present status of regulators and suggest measures to induce accountability in the mechanism. (2019)
3. “In the Network Era the TRAI has the challenging task of protecting the Net Neutrality from digital aggression.” Comment. (2018)
4. Discuss, with suitable examples, the emerging challenges faced by the Regulatory Commissions as the arbitrating agents between the State and the market forces. (2017)
5. With the creation of new regulatory agencies in the wake of a liberalisation, overlapping jurisdictions and conflicts became the new trend. Is there need for the creation of a super-regulator or unified regulator? (2010)
6. “Rigidity in administration and centralization has greatly incapacitated the Central Social Welfare Board,” Examine, in the light of this statement, the organization and working of the Central Social Welfare Board. (1996)
National Human Rights Commission
1. National Human Rights Commission is handicapped by its jurisdictional limitations of not being able to investigate the cases of violation of human rights by the armed forces. Discuss. (2021)
2. “The National Human Rights Commission has done a commendable job in developing a sense of responsibility among organizations towards the protection of human rights.” Comment on this assessment. (2009)
3. “The role played by the National Human Rights Commission in maintaining and preserving dignity of India’s citizens has been satisfactory and up to the expectations.” Elucidate. (2006)
4. “The National Human Rights Commission is unable to play its role effectively due to various hindrances.” Comment. (2004)
Problems of administration in coalition regimes
1. The Speaker of the State Assembly has assumed a significant role in formations and dissolutions of governments. Examine under the circumstances of coalition governments with examples. (2020)
2. From coalition government to one-party dominance is a big change that is bound to affect the governmental system.” Explain why and how. (2014)
3. Examine the constitutional, political and operational dimensions of official & non-official relationship in Indian policy. What kind of institutional reforms are needed for bringing about a satisfactory rela-tionship between them? (1988)
Citizen – administration interface
1. Citizens charters in India have not succeeded in their objectives in making administrative system citizen centric. Do you agree? Give reasons. (2022)
2. Ideally citizen-administration interface is supposed to be based on trustworthiness and purposefulness, in reality it is observed to be plagued by suspicion, conflicts, stresses and strains. Do you agree? Elaborate. (2020)
3. “The RTI has started its journey, but is far from its destination.” In the view of the statement, examine the present status of the RTI movement. (2019)
4. “Autonomy of civil society is crucial for responsive and effective administration.” Examine the statement. (2018)
5. Do you think that the Public Service Guarantee Acts passed by various State Governments are an extension of the Citizen? Give reasons. (2017)
6. “The Right to Information (RTI) has stated its journey but is far from its destination.” Comment. (2017)
7. “The Right to Information Act is a path-breaking legislation which signals the march from darkness of secrecy to dawn of transparency.” What hurdles do the citizens face in obtaining information from the government? Explain how the reluctance of the government to part with information under R.T.I. can be addressed. (2016)
8. Do you agree with the view that Citizens’ Charters in India have not succeeded in their objective of making the administrative system citizen-centric? Analyze and give your suggestions in this regard. (2009)
9. ‘Right to Information Act has led to greater transparency and accountability of administration.’ Comment. (2008)
10. “A distinctive feature of the Indian administration, since Independence, has been the noticeable efforts undertaken to make the administrative system effectively reach and respond to citizens’ grievances.” Comment. (2003)
11. “The machinery of administrative tribunals has been provided for the purpose of speedy and cheap justice against official excesses.” Comment. (1997)
Corruption & administration
1. Examine the role of Lokpal in ensuring transparency and accountability in Indian administration. (2022)
2. “There are adequate legal mechanisms to address corruption and malpractices in administration, but they have failed to curb the menace to any noticeable degree.” In the light of this statement, discuss the efficacy and the institution of Lokayukta in Indian States. (2020)
3. Minimal accountability being the dominant norm in the political system, the Lokpal can only be an ideal institution with limited effectiveness. Explain. (2019)
4. “The ‘policy of non-action’ regarding the institutional mechanisms and legal provisions to eradicate corruption is a feature of Indian administration.” Critically examine. (2017)
5. “The initiative of the Income Tax Department on disclosure of black money has had a mixed response.” Give suggestions for tackling this complex problem. (2016)
6. “Information Communication Technology (ICT) improves the quality to check bribery.” Comment. (2015)
7. “The basic ethical problem for an administrator is to determine how he/the can use discretionary power in a way that is consistent with democratic values.” Comment with reference to corruption in administration. (2013)
8. ‘Corruption is more of an environmental than an administrative problem.’ Discuss. (2012)
9. “One Lok pal, howsoever strong it may be, cannot eliminate corruption in the politicoadministrative system in India.” Comment. (2011)
10. “The performance of Lok Ayuktas in various States has been uneven.” Comment with examples. (2011)
11. “The – Ayuktas are judicial institutions without adequate teeth”. Comment. (2006)
12. “The Lokayuktas in States have not succeeded in tackling mal-administration, while the Bill on Lokpal still faces stiff opposition on the floor of the Parliament.” Comment. (2005)
13. “Only a systematic-ecological approach to the study of corruption in India can help us understand its causes and dimensions.” Comment. (1999)
14. “The performance of Lok Ayuktas in Indian States do not create a very positive impression.” Comment. (1999)
15. “Corruption is more of an environmental than an administrative problem.” Comment. (1998)
16. Trace the origin of the Lokayukta plan and comment on its working. (1997)
17. “Between social background and administrative culture, it is the latter that has a dominating influence on integrity in administration in the Indian situation.” Review the statement in the light of research findings in this area. (1995)
18. “Corruption has been considered desirable and functional on various grounds.” Comment. (1994)
19. “The incumbents to civil service posts and political offices, who derive, their legitimacy and strength from intellectual merit and popular support respectively, cannot have identical perspectives on development. Naturally, therefore, the former has a higher & heavier responsibility to avoid conflict & preserve integrity in development administration.” Comment. (1993)
20. ‘The institution of Lokpal is still-born while that of Lokayuktas in states are ineffective. But strengthening of these institutions is a sure way of the development of democracy with integrity.’ Comment. (1991)
21. ‘Corruption and development are apparently not antagortic. But, speed in administration is not substitute for integrity. In Indian Administration neither speed nor integrity is showing an upward curve.’ Comment. (1991)
22. ‘The Lokayuktas are not social reformers, nor are they persons who do little and accomplish nothing. Experience also seems to indicate that there is no comprehensive knowledge of the duties and functions of the Lokayuktas and the scope of their activities, on the part of the ordinary members of the public. Discuss. (1991)
23. “The institution of ‘Lokpal’ in India is likely to confront a different set of problems as compered to the set of problems experienced by the ‘Lokayuktas’ in the past.” Comment. (1988)
1. In the past two decades India’s public policy on Disaster Management has shifted its focus from rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts to holistic management of disaster. Analyse. (2021)
2. Examine the National Health Policy in the context of the current pandemic situation. Identify the problem and suggest improvements. (2020)
3. The National Policy on Disaster Management envisages a paradigm shift from a hitherto reactive post-disaster relief centric regime to more pro-active and enabling environment. Examine the responses of State Governments in this regard. (2019)
4. ‘Disaster preparedness and management has become an important component of district administration in India.” Discuss with suitable illustrations. (2017)
5. Explain how the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) provides a framework and direction to the government agencies for all phases of disaster management cycle. (2016)
6. “Municipal governance in India is not sufficiently prepared to meet the challenges of frequent natural disasters.” Elucidate the statement and add your suggestions. (2015)
7. “Bureaucratic agencies, characterized by established procedures, specialization, leadership, clear objectives, are not ideal to handle disaster management.” Examine with reference to the need for administrative flexibility in managing disasters. (2013)
8. (i) Identify the different conceptual categories of disasters.
(ii) Write a note on the new culture of disaster management. (2011)
9. “Disaster insurance is desirable but not an easy proposition to implement.” Illustrate with suitable examples. (2011)
10. It is argued that the Bhopal gas disaster and the response pattern to it systems of corporate social responsibility, governance at local, state and central levels, and legal safeguards and liabilities. Comment on this assessment. (2010)
11. “Indian has failed to devise a long-term strategy for drought management.” Comment. (2009)
12. ‘In India, there appears to be more disaster of management than management of disaster.’ Comment. (2008)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Why is the understanding of significant issues in Indian administration crucial for UPSC Mains aspirants?
Answer: A thorough grasp of significant issues in Indian administration is imperative for UPSC Mains aspirants as it forms the basis for addressing contemporary challenges in governance. The examination aims to assess candidates’ analytical abilities and their awareness of real-world administrative issues, making this knowledge crucial for success.
2. How do past years’ questions on significant issues in Indian administration help in exam preparation?
Answer: Previous year questions serve as a valuable guide, offering insights into the recurring themes and priority areas identified by UPSC examiners. Analyzing these questions aids aspirants in identifying patterns, understanding the depth of knowledge required, and tailoring their preparation to align with the examination’s expectations.
3. What are some of the recurring themes in significant issues related to Indian administration according to the past decade’s UPSC Mains questions?
Answer: Exploring the past decade’s questions reveals recurring themes such as governance challenges, administrative reforms, federalism, and social issues. Understanding these patterns allows aspirants to prioritize their study material and focus on the most relevant and frequently tested topics.
4. How does a nuanced understanding of significant issues in Indian administration contribute to better policy formulation?
Answer: A deep comprehension of significant issues equips future administrators with the ability to formulate informed and effective policies. By addressing the root causes of administrative challenges, policymakers can implement sustainable solutions, fostering efficient governance and contributing to the overall development of the nation.
5. Can focusing on significant issues in Indian administration enhance one’s overall understanding of the socio-political landscape of the country?
Answer: Absolutely. Significant issues in Indian administration are often intertwined with the socio-political fabric of the nation. Aspirants who delve into these issues gain a holistic understanding of the challenges and opportunities that define the Indian administrative landscape, enabling them to navigate complex scenarios with a nuanced perspective.
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