Public Administration Notes PDF

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Public Administration Notes PDF For UPSC PDF Free Download

Public Administration Notes

Public Administration Notes PDF

Administration as an activity is as old as society itself. But as an area of study it originated, with the publication of Wilson’s essay on study of Administration in 1887. As a process, administration occurs in both public and private organisations.

It occurs in such diverse institution as settings as business firm, labour unions, religious or charitable organisations, educational institutions, etc. Its nature is affected by the sphere with which it is concerned.

Administration is commonly divided into two types, Public and Private Administration. As an aspect of government activity it has existed since the emergence of political system(s).

While public administration relates to the activities carried out by government, private administration refers to the management of private business enterprises.

It is important to understand the functioning of administration for on this lies the understanding of the government. In this Unit an effort has been made to bring the concept of administration, public administration in particular, closer to you.

This understanding will take you through the entire course of Public Administration. In what follows, we will examine the meaning, nature and scope of public administration.


The word ‘administer’ is derived from the Latin word administere, which means to care for or to look after people, to manage affairs. Administration may be defined as “group activity which involves cooperation and coordination for the purpose of achieving desired goals or objectives”.

Broadly speaking, the term administration appears to bear at least four different meanings or different senses depending upon the context in which it is used:

(1) As a Discipline: The name of a branch of learning or intellectual discipline as taught and studied in colleges and universities. (2) As a Vocation: Type of work/trade or profession/occupation, especially one that involves knowledge and training in a branch of advance learning.

(3) As a Process: The sum total of activities undertaken to implement Public Policy or policies to produce some services or goods. (4) As a Synonym for ‘word’ Executive or Government:

Such other body of persons in supreme charge of affairs, for example, Manmohan Singh Administration, Bush Administration, etc.


Before we discuss about the meaning, definition, nature, scope and importance of public administration we will try to know what is administration, organisation and management.

As these terms are often used interchangeably and synonymously, it is pertinent to know the differences and distinctions between these three terms.

According to William Schulze Administration is the force, which lays down the object for which an organisation and its management are to strive and the broad policies under which they are to operate.

An Organisation is a combination of the necessary human beings, materials, tools, equipment and working space, appurtenances brought together in systematic and effective co-relation to accomplish some desired object.

Management is that which leads guides and directs an organisation for the accomplishment of pre-determined object.

To put the above in simple terms, administration sets the goal, management strives to attain it and organisation is the machine of the management for the attainment of the ends determined by the administration.

Some scholars have a different view about the administration and management.

According to Peter Drucker management is associated with the business activity, which has to show economic performance, whereas administration is associated with the non business activities like activities of the Government.

The other view is that administration is associated with performing routine things in known settings in accordance with certain procedures, rules, and regulations.

The Management is associated with performing functions like risk taking, dynamic, creative and innovative functions.

Some scholars of Public Administration are closely associated with the first view that is, administration is a determinative function.

Management, on other hand is an executive function that is primarily concerned with carrying out the broad policies laid down by the administration. Organisation is the machinery through which coordination is established between administration and management.


L.D. White observes that although public administration varies in form and objects, and although the administration of public and private affairs differs at many points, there is an underlying similarity, if not identity.

As an integral aspect of such generic concept, public administration could be related to that type of administration, which operates within a specific ecological setting.

It is a means to carry out the policy decisions made by political executive. To be seen along with it is the ‘Public’ aspect of Public administration, which attributes a special character and focus to it.

‘Public’ can be looked at formally to mean ‘government’. So, public administration is government administration, government in action, or a socio-economic and politico-administrative confluence, the focus being especially on public bureaucracy.

Encyclopaedia Britannica defines public administration as ‘the application of a policy of a state through its government.’

Public Administration, therefore, refers to that part of administration, which pertains to the administrative activities of the government. Now we will try to look into the definitions of Public Administration provided by various scholars.

Woodrow Wilson Public administration is the detailed and systematic application of law.

Every particular application of law is an act of administration. L.D. White “Public administration consists of all those operations having for their purpose the fulfilment or enforcement of public policy”.

As per White, this definition covers a multitude of particular operations in many fields the delivery of a letter, the sale of public land, the negotiation of a treaty, the award of compensation to an injured workman, the quarantine of a sick child, the removal of litter from a park, manufacturing uranium 235, and licensing the use of atomic energy.

It includes military as well as civil affairs, much of the work of courts, and all the special fields of government activity-police, education, health, construction of public works, conservation, social security, and many others.

The conduct of public affairs in advanced civilisations requires the employment of almost every profession and skill-engineering, law, medicine, and teaching; the crafts, the technical specialties, the office skills, and many others.

Language English
No. of Pages271
PDF Size2 MB

Public Administration Notes PDF for UPSC PDF Free Download

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