Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Public Administration Strategy

I decided to take Public Administration as one of my optional right after my 10+2. Probably, that was the reason that I took Political Science as one of my subject in my graduation.

I took the classes for Public Administration at SYNERGY, taught by Mohanty Sir. I was very impressed by his way of teaching. In my very first attempt in 2007, I could revise only his class notes and few relevant chapters from his SYNERGY books. Since I joined the classes after prelims in June, I did not have the time to refer to even the basic books on the subject. But Sir’s way of teaching was so good that I still managed to score 322 that year.

At times, it happens that a question comes in the exam about which you don’t have any idea, but you have heard that particular topic in the class. If you have been very attentive in your classes, you will be able to recall the context in which that topic was discussed. It has happened with me that by merely recalling the context of the topic discussed in the class, I wrote the entire 60 marker and scored good marks.

My strategy for Public Administration has been no different from other candidates. And I am really happy that this subject has given me good marks in all the previous 3 attempts.. 322, 322 and 329 respectively.

The foremost thing required is the seriousness with which you study the subject. What I used to do was that I used to cover the topic being taught in the class comprehensively from one other source and used to prepare the notes in such a manner that I need not study anything other than my comprehensive notes during the exams. This practice I followed throughout the classes. I ensured that I am writing all the tests on Sundays that Sir used to take. Every day used to be a struggle for me. Because, my targets were such that I had to accomplish them everyday.

In the Pub Ad answers, if you follow very general practice of being simple, you will score well. Don’t go for any sophistication and complication. Be straightforward in your answer writing. Stick to the topic being asked in the question. Go for a good introduction giving a brief about what all you are going to discuss in the answer. But, its still not possible to give the brief about each n everything you are going to discuss in the introductory paragraph. Just touch upon some imp aspects and move on. Never ever write a general answer . Try to make your answer – public administration in nature. Use the name of the thinkers as and when required. Thinker’s perspectives give a good touch to your answers.

For e.g. If you are writing on administrative reforms, talk about their weaknesses in the Indian context with respect to the Classical Theory, which talk about lack of initiatives by the workers, only monetary rewards, top down communication etc etc.

In my second attempt, I referred some other sources as well, but still I didn’t see a single mark improvement in my marks. Later I realized, what blunder I committed. Instead of using the names of the Pub Ad Thinkers, I used names such as Swami sachhidanand, Henry Ford, etc. This should not have been done. Stick to your basics wherein I lacked in this attempt.

Magazines like Yojana and Kurukshetra are your trump cards in this subject. Study them keeping the Pub Ad topics in your mind. If some case study is there , make a note of it and use it in your answers. A Yojana issue on Disaster Management discussed a wonderful case study on Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM). It showed how an org. called SEEDS INDIA used CBDM and came out with some very good results bringing people’s participation and juxtaposing disaster management with the planning process. Detail it out in your answers.

Be innovative in the Paper II answers. Use as many case studies as you can, but always interlink them with the perspectives of the Administrative thinkers. Show the examiner that you have an aptitude for thinking. Don’t write conventional answers. Make a vibrant “KHICHDI” of the concepts you have learnt. Apply them to the day to day life. Interlink them with the case studies that you read from various sources.

All this I am telling from my 3rd attempt experience where in paper II, I scored 185. It was the result of the KHICHDI I prepared in the exam. Use the examples of Public Distribution System, NREGA, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), UIDAI etc.. Even if you prepare 4 to 5 such examples with reference to Indian Administration, you need not prepare other such things. Use these examples at your discretion where ever you want. You will see the results for yourself.

Sources I made use of :


  • Fadia and Fadia
  • Sharma and Sadana
  • Avasthi and Maheshwari
  • Prasad and Prasad (for thinkers)
  • Laxmikanth for Prelims (for few topics,,I found it very useful for mains)
  • IGNOU MA notes
  • SYNERGY class notes and reference material


  • Fadia and Fadia
  • Arora and Goyal
  • IGNOU MA notes
  • Laxmikanth for prelims (Public Administration)
  • Laxmikanth for Indian Polity
  • SYNERGY class Notes and reference material

  1. Yojana
  2. Kurukshetra
  3. The Hindu editorials

(I may be forgetting the names of a couple of books. I shall post them as and when I recall).

I wish all the very best to my blog readers and to all the Civil Services Aspirants going through this write-up.

Cheers ! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

VVS and Leadership

The Indian Cricket Champ - VVS - says,,


He is an epitome of Leadership. He has come to India's rescue whenever the team has faced a tricky situation. In normal situations, anybody can come up and lead. Providing leadership when the chips are down shows the real mettle of a person. If you want to be something in your life, be VVS of Test Cricket, be Shahrukh of Bollywood, be Hamilton of F1, be Pele of Soccer, be Roger of Tennis, be the BEST in your respective sphere..

You should be known as the one making a difference, as someone not being a part of crowd.

Cheers !!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Last Mains and Public Administration experience

Hi friends,

Just got over with the Public Administration exam today. I was getting bit emotional yesterday while revising the entire stuff. I was just thinking that these Pub admn. topics which are so close to my heart, i will not have to study them ever again. This is my last UPSC attempt and my fourth Mains. It may sound really ridiculous. I know that. However, this sorrowness is coupled with joy that I will have freedom to explore the world other than UPSC.

For the past 4 years, i have been so entangled in the studies , that i got very less time to explore the fun outside the four walls of my room. I am very excited to join the NADT, Nagpur coming December.

The pattern of UPSC's questions have left the candidates baffling. Today, i was surprised to see the short notes being compulsory (3 out of 3). But, that was fun. I wrote some interesting answers leaving nothing to be added. Since , this was the last Mains for me, i made it a point that i write and include everything somewhere or the other in the answers. But, don't misinterpret me for redundant practice. I obviously wrote the relevant points at the relevant places.

From RTI to transparency, accountability, customer orientation, openness, Wada na todo abhiyan campaign, Jaankari project, Bhaagidaari Project, I and II ARC, Hota committe, Yugandhar Committee, Y.K.Alagh Committee, NREGA, PDS, PMGSY, 6th Pay Commission, Fayol, Urwick, Likert, McGregor, Lord Nolan, Administrative Reforms, Disaster Mgmt, Hyogo Framework for Action, 73rd Amendment Act, Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, IRDA, SEBI, MCI, AICTE, Linking Pin Model, Code of ethics, Decision Making, Kautilya, NPM, E-Governance, Citizen's Charter, Conference of Chief Secretaries (1996), Conference of Chief Ministers (1997), Social Audit, Development Administration, Robert Chambers, David Korten, Public Policy, PRIS, PPBS, HILASOO, PSU failure, Fiscal mismanagement, Article 74,78,85, 285, 289, 280, Finance Commission, Judicial Activism, PN Bhagwati, Judicial adventurism, PIL, Cash for Query scam, Ninth Schedule, Ram Jawaya case, Shamsher Singh Case, Max Weber, Pub Admn-Dichotomy, NCHER etc etc etc etc etc....i tried to prepare a good mixture of the stuff i had in my mind. Rest, the marks will reflect the success of this mixture. Hope for the best..:)

On 10th is Sociology, my last exam. Hoping for a changed pattern in this exam as well. I am prepared for the bouncers. Lets face it.

Have a good day..!!

Leadership Quotes

"It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not." - ANDRE GIDE

"The most powerful weapon on earth is the Human Soul on fire." - FERDINAND FOCH

"If people knew how hard i worked for my mastery , it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." - MICHELANGELO