3 June RAS Mains Answer Writing

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SUBJECT – Concepts, Issues and Dynamics of Public Administration and Management

TOPIC – Administration and Management: Meaning, nature, and significance. Its role in developed and developing societies. Evolution of Public Administration as a discipline, Approaches to the study of Public Administration

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Q1 What is the Integral view of public administration? 2M


According to this view, public administration has

  • Comprehensive Scope :  public administration encompasses all the activities which are undertaken to accomplish the given objective. Therefore, it is the sum total of managerial, technical, clerical and manual activities. 
  • Inclusive : administration constitutes the activities of all persons from top to bottom.  Eg DM to Peon 
  • Supporter : L.D. White and Dimock.
  • Contextual Variability: Administration varies based on the subject matter of the relevant agency, differing between different spheres of operation.

Q2 Enlist the key differences in the role of public administration between developed and developing countries. 5M


Q3 Highlight the stages through which Public Administration evolved into an autonomous academic discipline. 10M


In his book “Public Administration and Public Affairs”, Nicholas Henry has identified the following five stages in the evolution of public administration as a discipline.

Stage 1: 1887-1926- The Era of Politics – Administration Dichotomy.

  • In 1887, Woodrow Wilson established the distinction between politics (policymaking) and administration (policy implementation), earning him the title “Father of Public Administration.”” Goodnow supported this view. Later, L.D. White’s textbook in 1926, “Introduction to the Study of Public Administration,” provided academic legitimacy to the subject.

Stage II: 1927-1937 – The Golden Era of the Principles of Administration 

  • Scholars believed that specific administration principles could be found and used to make public administration more efficient and cost-effective, viewing it as a science with universal applicability.
  • In 1927, Willoughby’s “Principles of Public Administration” initiated this stage. 
  • Fayol’s “Industrial and General Management” (1916) ; Mooney and Reiley: “Principles of Organisation” (1939); Gulick and Urwick: “Papers on the Science of Administration” (1937) 
  • Principles like Unity of command, span of control etc emerged 

This era focused heavily on efficiency, with less emphasis on the ‘public’ aspect of public administration.

Stage III: 1938-1947 – The Era of Challenge to the Mainstream of Public Administration

  • This period witnessed the rise of the ‘human relations-behavioural approach’ to public administration. Both the defining pillars of public administration were challenged. 
  • Critique of Politics-Administration Dichotomy: It not only implements policy decisions but also contributes to policy formulation, a key aspect of political domain. → C.I. Barnard’s “The Functions of the Executive” (1938)
  • Critique of Administrative Principles: criticized on the ground of lack of scientific validity and universal relevancy.
    • Human Relations Theory: The Hawthorne studies, conducted by Elton Mayo, demonstrated the importance of informal organizations in determining organizational efficiency
    • Herbert A. Simon: The Proverbs of Administration (1946) → he dubbed  them  as “proverbs” and “naturalistic fallacies”. He advocated the behavioural approach to public administration to make it a more scientific discipline.
    • Robert Dahl → The Science of Public Administration: Three Problems (1947) → Science of public administration requires 1) clarity on normative values, 2 )better understanding of human behavior, and 3) comparative studies to uncover universal principles.

Stage IV 1948-1970 – Identity Crisis

  • the rejection of the politics-administration dichotomy and administrative principles left public administration in a state of identity crisis. Scholars reacted in two main ways:
  1. Return to Political Science: scholars, like John Gaus and Rosco Martin
  2. Shift towards Administrative Science: Others advocated for an administrative science perspective, founding the Journal of Administrative Science Quarterly in 1956. 
    However, both paths led to public administration losing its distinct identity and merging with larger fields.
  • Developments during this phase included:
    • Growth of Comparative Public Administration; Advocacy of the Ecological Approach to the study of public administration by F.W. Riggs ; Conceptualization of Development Administration by Edward Weidner and F.W. Riggs ; Emergence of New Public Administration; Advocacy of the Public Choice Approach by Vincent Ostrom.

Stage V: 1970-onwards – Public Administration as Public Administration

  • In this final stage of evolution, the focus shifts to public policy analysis
  • Acceptance of Public Policy Approach: recognized the intertwined nature of politics and administration.Dwight Waldo concluded that the separation between politics and administration had become an “outworn credo”.
  • Robert T. Golembiewski identifies two key themes of the public policy approach: the interpenetration of politics and administration at various levels, and the programmatic nature of administration.

With the adoption of public policy approach, public administration has become inter-disciplinary, gained in social relevance and expanded its scope.

Q4. Write a paragraph on any one of the following in approximately 200 words. [RAS Mains 2021]
The ‘Work-from-Home’ culture


 The ‘Work-from-Home’ culture

Today, working from home is not just a dream, it’s a reality, many around the world live. As there is a large number of people who are a huge fan of working from home; as certain people feel they can achieve more working from home. In addition, effective working is not the only reason why working from home is gathering more popularity. 

  Some say that it would be better if the majority of employees worked from home instead of travelling to a workplace every day. Do you think the advantages of working from home outweigh the disadvantages?

            Working from home is a lot more comfortable for lots of people. Employees can save a great deal of time and money since they do not have to travel so often, which means people will have more time for work and for themselves too. Less travelling will also help reduce traffic jams and pollutants in our environment. Besides, working at home does not mean staying inside all day long, people can choose to work in their garden or backyard, wherever makes them feel convenient to work. Moreover, employees are under less stress since they get to decide when to work and when to take rest. These things will help give better performance to tasks.

                     There are still some disadvantages that home-working could bring. For instance, working from personal space will reduce direct interactions among colleagues. But the problem is solved thanks to the Internet. As for now, people from around the globe can easily contact and work with others from distances. Another drawback is that some people may get distracted from work by external factors. This requires employees to be highly aware of what they should and should not do for their paid jobs. In conclusion, working from home should be encouraged because the advantages overcome the disadvantages.

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