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How should one study for Public Administration optional?

Public Administration is one tricky subject depending on the average scores candidates have got in last few years. Relatively in 2018 CSE exam, There is a good number of candidates making it to final list taking Public Administration as optional.

To score good marks in Public Administration, one has to understand that there is difference between the understanding aspect of subject and actually reflecting that in your answer copy.

For Understanding part, there are standard books like Prasad & Prasad,Mohit Bhattacharaya, Rajni & Goyal , Nicholas Henry and reports on Administrative Reforms Commission, which almost every candidate reads. One has to cover the syllabus thoroughly and has to have sufficient basic understanding. Once you are done with it, its half battle won.

The real game starts when you are to write the answers. The quality of your answers will improve when :

  1. You actually understand what Question is asking & why the question is being asked in the first place. It may seem very static question but there is always some hidden theme there especially in Paper II.
  2. One has to relate aspects of the questions with examples from INDIAN ADMINISTRATION. This, I cannot emphasise more. The more dynamic and updated your examples are, more is the probabilty of fetching good marks. [For Example: When you are writing about Performance Appraisal, Write about SPARROW (Smart Performance Appraisal Report Recording Online Window ) initiative of Government under e-office. Just an example.] The question is how to find these examples and things ?
    1. For this one has to keep googling topics using Google News or other sources like DOPT news head under PIB or DOPT website syllabus-wise. Newspaper articles also come handy. [There is no alternative to this work. Every person will find different things amusing and will eventually end up having his/her own examples and own understanding ]
    2. These new happenings and findings have to be consolidated at one place otherwise its no use wasting time if you cant remember, in later stages of your preparation, what you actually looked for.
    3. For each and every topic of the syllabus, one should be replete with examples with facts so that one does not feel wanting during exam.
    4. Dig into Government websites, Get the grasp of actual picture of various Departments and bodies. How they are actually performing, recent controversies related with them.
  3. When writing examples, try to be using accurate information with facts and figures. And write examples properly and illustrate them. Dont write examples in the old cliched way as : “eg: x , y, z, etc” . Illustrations can actually help fetching more marks. These things gives impression that person actually knows what he is writing and that matters.
  4. When you are to write Definitions, Try to write latest ones. For Example, Public administration as defined by MINNOWBROOK III rather than writing anything else.
  5. Most of other suggestions are universal and applies everywhere like: Using ARC II , Using article numbers (in case you remember), using Supreme Court Judgements.

One Thing I learnt from last attempt : As its usually said that, try relating with Paper II while writing Paper I and vice-versa . I did it last year. It got me 150 in Paper I and 113 in Paper II. After performing poorly in Paper II, I skipped “vice-versa” part. It worked for me.

  1. Reflection of understanding in subject, comes through your ability to relate subject with present day examples.
  2. Your answers being different from the crowd. There has to be some newness. This will autmatically come if you have good examples.
  3. Facts and Figures are cherry on the Top.
  4. And, ofcourse, completing the paper matters.


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