Embarking on the challenging journey of preparing for the UPSC mains examination demands a strategic approach, and one crucial element of this process is a meticulous study of previous year question papers. In the vast landscape of optional subjects, Public Administration stands out as a popular and dynamic choice for aspirants. In this blog series, we delve into the specific realm of Public Administration Optional Topic – Urban Local Government. By analyzing and dissecting the questions from 2013 to 2023, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide that not only aids in understanding the evolving trends but also equips candidates with the necessary insights to tackle this section with confidence. Whether you’re a seasoned aspirant or a newcomer to the UPSC journey, this series promises to be an invaluable resource in navigating the nuances of Urban Local Governance within the realm of Public Administration.
As we unravel the threads of the Urban Local Government section in the UPSC mains examination, it becomes evident that this topic holds significant weight in the overall understanding of administrative structures and governance. The questions posed over the past decade reflect the dynamic nature of urban governance, touching upon issues of decentralization, citizen participation, and the challenges posed by rapid urbanization. Our exploration will not only focus on the questions themselves but will also offer in-depth insights, strategic approaches, and key concepts essential for mastering this facet of Public Administration. Join us on this intellectual journey through the UPSC mains past, as we decipher the intricacies of Urban Local Government and empower aspirants with the knowledge and confidence needed to ace this critical aspect of the examination.
Urban Local Government – Public Administration – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains Psychology Optional)
Municipal governance: main features, structures, finance and problem areas
1. “The financial suitability of the Urban local bodies can become a reality only when they receive their due share of public finances.” Explain. (2022)
2. Contemporary urbanism advocates the integration of diverse modes of urban planning and management concerns. Discuss the above statement in light of urban development in India. (2021)
3. Urban local governance is perpetually afflicted with lack of financial autonomy and starvation of funds. Elaborate. (2020)
4. “The disempowerment and depoliticization of urban local government has happened in multiple ways.” Comment. (2018)
5. “The goals of good governance will remain utopian if local governments, responsible for providing all basic services directly to the citizens, are not empowered as mandated by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.” Critically evaluate the status of empowerment of the local bodies. (2016)
6. “Municipal Administration in India faces both structural and operational challenges.” Examine in the context of post-74th Amendment Act. (2013)
7. Local self-government in India is the interplay of several factors-historical, ideological, and administrative. Critically examine these factors. (2012)
8. Examine the institutional vulnerability of municipal governance in the midst of an emerging spectre of multiple partnerships. (2011)
9. “Sound municipal governance requires a cadre of specialized municipal services executives equal in status to State Services.” Comment. (2009)
10. “It is time to rationalise urban bodies in matters of size and distribution of functions with a regional authority taking an overall charge of area-wide problems.” Comment. (1993)
11. ‘The State Governments now have little alternative but to accept autonomy, innovation and political directions by representative bodies in Urban Local Government.’ Comment. (1992)
12. ‘The mega growth of urban areas unaccompanied by matching urban government reforms in which the ruralised State Governments are least interested, have left urban governance in India neither autonomous nor effective.’ Comment. (1991)
13. ‘The Old City owned its vitality to religious and cultural forces as a centre of administration…. The Modern City, however, is an economic phenomenon.’ In the light of the above statement discuss the problems of
(a) Suburban Sprawls,
(b) Slum Dwelling, and
(c) Urban Renewal in Metropolitan areas, high-lighting the Central Issues of
(i) Structural reorganisation, and
(ii) Functional distribution in City Government. (1989)
14. ‘The public administration perspective of urban areas has primarily been concerned with the problems of their multiple structures and working relationships in the field.’ Examine the validity of this observation. (1987)
74th Constitutional Amendment
1. Ward Committees in urban local governance have remained mere paper tigers. The ideal of realizing effective people’s participation in collaboration with local functionaries is still in the pipeline. Examine the gap in theory and practice. (2020)
2. To what extent has the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act created a ‘federation within a federation’ in India? (2012)
3. “A singular feature of the 74th Constitutional Amendment is the new role assigned to the urban local bodies in the field of planning.” Comment. (1997)
4. Examine the provisions of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments from the point of view of the autonomy of the local bodies. (1996)
5. “The institution of Nagar Panchayat as mentioned in the 73th Constitutional Amendment has to be created with utmost care.” Comment. (1996)
1. Do you think that the new localism relegate the spirit of 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 ? (2022)
2. The concept of new localism arrangement may defeat the very purpose of local self-governance. Do you agree? Justify. (2019)
3. “The concept of ‘new localism’ is related to the emerging nature of the relationship between the State Governments and local government bodies.” Explain. (2016)
4. How does New Localism impact Centre-State-Local relations in the era of LPG? (2012)
5. Discuss the basic principles of ‘New Localism’ as a part of the global-local debate. (2011)
6. New Localism is identified with the new Local-State and local activism. Examine how this has impacted city management in India. (2008)
7. “NGOs are fast replacing the government in the implementation of a large number of programmes.” Elucidate. (2003)
Development dynamics, politics and administration with special reference to city management
1. “Neighbourhood management provides an appropriate glocal strategy of dealing with social exclusion in the urban development scenario.” Comment. (2018)
2. How do the Union Government policies on Smart and AMRUT Cities address the problems of management of urban development? Explain. (2015)
3. Do you agree that there has been a serious governance-deficit in development administration in India? Give reasons for your answer and add your suggestions. (2015)
4. Explain the notion of one hundred ‘smart cities’ and its likely impact on India’s urbanization. (2014)
5. “The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM) is one of the biggest reformlinked development programmes taken up by the Government.” Comment. (2010)
6. In urban governance, uni-functional agencies and development authorities create a “functional jungle.” Explain. (2008)
7. Discuss the urban anti-poverty programmes launched in recent times to ameliorate the poverty situation in our urban areas. (1994)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What is Urban Local Government, and why is it significant in the context of Public Administration for UPSC mains?
Urban Local Government refers to the administrative bodies responsible for governing cities and towns. In the UPSC mains examination, understanding this aspect of Public Administration is crucial as it involves the application of administrative principles in the unique and complex urban setting. As cities become hubs of diverse challenges, ranging from infrastructure to social issues, a solid grasp of Urban Local Government is essential for aspiring civil servants.
Q: What are the key challenges faced by Urban Local Governments in India?
Urban Local Governments in India grapple with various challenges, such as inadequate infrastructure, rapid urbanization, sanitation issues, and effective service delivery. Aspirants should be familiar with these challenges to address questions that may require a nuanced understanding of the practical issues faced by urban administrators.
Q: How has the concept of decentralization influenced Urban Local Governance in recent years?
The concept of decentralization involves delegating powers and responsibilities to lower levels of government. Understanding how decentralization has shaped Urban Local Governance is crucial for aspirants. Questions in the UPSC mains often explore the impact of decentralization on decision-making, service delivery, and citizen participation at the urban local level.
Q: What role does citizen participation play in the functioning of Urban Local Governments?
Citizen participation is a cornerstone of effective urban governance. Aspirants should be familiar with the ways in which citizens can be involved in decision-making processes, community development initiatives, and holding local authorities accountable. Questions in this domain may explore the significance of citizen engagement in improving the overall governance of urban areas.
Q: How does Urban Local Government contribute to sustainable urban development?
Sustainable urban development is a critical aspect of contemporary governance. Questions related to this theme may inquire about the role of Urban Local Governments in promoting environmentally sustainable practices, ensuring inclusive development, and addressing issues like housing, transportation, and waste management. Aspirants should be well-versed in the strategies and policies that contribute to sustainable urban development within the framework of Urban Local Governance.
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