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“Publicness” of Public Administration in an ideal democratic government remains the ultimate value in theory and practice.” Elucidate.    

Answer- Publicness in public administration can be understood from two prospectus.

First perspective- what is the ultimate goal of public administration?
Second prospective – what is the role of government in public administration.

Since the evolution of public administration it has travelled and treaded different paths.
The significance of ‘Publicness’ of public administration is that public administration is concerned with purposes of society as a whole as opposed to groups within it. Public administration is concerned therefore with the purpose of the state. Government runs various policies for the disadvantage the sections of the societies example beti Bachao Beti padhao, swachh Bharat Abhiyan, jan Dhan Yojana etc. All this reflects the publicness of public administration.

Since evolution of public administration, the role of state has been either challenged or accepted .
During NPM era the role of state was confined to offer minimal services to the people. This had reduced the publicness of public administration which again increased after it became acceptable that the state cannot be replaced by private sector. World Bank report 1997 about the changing role of state has focused on the role of state.

This ‘public’ aspect of public administration can be looked at formally to mean ‘government’. So, public administration is government – administration which has vital role to play in a modern democratic state. The focus is basically on public bureaucracy. A wider meaning of public administration has sought to expand its ambit by including any administration that has considerable impact on the public. In another sense the term – ‘public’ refers to transparency or open scrutiny, under constant public ‘gaze’. Public accountability is one of the values affecting public administration.

Thus, in modern democratic society, the role of public administration has increased manifolds. We are witnessing the emergence of ‘Administrative State’. With the state regulating and controlling every activity of individuals from ‘womb to tomb’.

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