Public Administration Optional: Pros, Cons & Syllabus of Pub Ad Optional

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Public Administration Optional Pros and Cons must be analyzed properly by the candidates opting for Public Administration as their optional subject for UPSC Mains. The Public Administration Optional is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC CSE. In the 2012 UPSC exam, almost 50% of the successful candidates opted for Public Administration as their optional subject. In this article, we are going to talk about the Pros and Cons of Public Administration Optional.

Choosing an optional subject can be a tough task, and it can add so much stress to a candidate’s head. Read on to check if Public Administration Optional is a suitable option for you or not. There is no best optional subject, it is only the best fit for an individual, and this article helps you decide if the Public Administration Optional is the best fit for you or not.

Table of content

  • 1. Public Administration Optional Pros and Cons (more)
  • 2. Public Administration Optional overlap with General Studies (more)
  • 3. Public Administration Optional Syllabus (more)
  • 4. Answer Writing for Public Administration Optional (more)

Public Administration Optional Pros and Cons

Below, we are going to reveal both pros and cons of the Public Administration Optional subject. Candidates need to know both pros and cons of choosing Public Administration as their optional, think with a clear head, and then only come to a conclusion.

Pros of Public Administration Optional

  • Public Administration is easy to understand and written in simple language.
  • There is a vast range of study materials available for Public Administration Optional.
  • It saves your energy and time as this subject overlaps with the General Studies paper
  • The Public Administration Optional Syllabus is small and hence easy to cover.
  • The questions asked from the Pub Ad Optional subject are straightforward.
  • This paper also helps to prepare you for the Interview and essay paper of the UPSC Exam.
  • If you are well-prepared, then this subject can be highly rewarding and scoring.

Cons of Public Administration Optional

  • Public Administration Optional is theoretical. If you come from a science background, you can find it boring and face difficulties in learning theoretical concepts.
  • This is a highly competitive subject, as many of the candidates opt for this optional subject.
  • Candidates need to build a good vocabulary for this Public Administration Optional. However, if you read the newspaper daily, then you can easily overcome this problem.

Public Administration Optional overlap with General Studies

The best thing about choosing Public Administration as your optional is it covers almost 60% of the General Studies papers.

Overlap Topics of GS Paper-II with Public Administration Optional:

Overlap Topics of GS Paper-III with Public Administration Optional:

  • Budgeting
  • Environment
  • Role of media and social networking sites in internal security
  • Disaster Management
  • Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
  • Disaster management
  • Challenges to internal security through communication networks
  • Planning issues
  • Inclusive growth

GS Paper-IV- Overlap Topics with Public Administration Optional:

  • Ethics and Human Interface
  • Attitude: content, structure, function; social influence and persuasion.; moral and political attitudes; its influence and relation with thought and behaviour.

Public Administration Optional Syllabus

The Public Administration Optional syllabus covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to the job role of an IAS officer. The questions related to public administration can be asked during the interview as well. Candidates who have opted for the Pub Ad optional must do an in-depth analysis of its syllabus. Having a sound knowledge of the Public Administration Optional syllabus would help the candidates to create a rock-solid strategy for the best results.

Public Administration Optional Syllabus

Best Books for Public Administration Optional

While preparing for an Optional subject of UPSC CSE, the study material and UPSC Books play a vital role. Books are the backbone of preparation for any exam. Below we will be covering some of the highly recommended books for Public Administration Optional by experts and IAS toppers.

  • Introduction: Mohit Bhattacharya – New Horizons of Public Administration
  • Theories of Administration – D. Ravindra Prasad, P. Satyanarayana, and V.S. Prasad
  • D. D. Basu An Introduction to the Constitution of India central Administration by A. Avasthi
  • Central Administration by A. Avasthi
  • J.D. Shukla State Administration
  • Structure of Public Organizations by R.K. Jain: Public Sector Undertakings
  • Administrative Behaviour: Paul Hersey: Organisational Behaviour
  • B.N. Puri Administrative History of India (Vol. I, II ) (Volume. III)

Answer Writing for Public Administration Optional

Candidates need to follow the same answer writing strategy for both Paper-1 and Paper-2 of the Public Administration Optional subjects. Both papers require Indian examples, logical writing, and representation of arguments.

  • You have to analyze the subject in-depth so that you don’t have to put so much effort into answer writing.
  • When you know the subject and topics from in and out, the representation of answers becomes easier.
  • If you read the subject only once, then things might become tough for you, and you will face problems in presenting a logical viewpoint.
  • In the Public Administration Optional paper, don’t write the general answers as you do in general studies. Use the administrative terms from the subject.
  • Quote theories and thinkers in your answer and explore the problem on administrative lines.
  • Use simple language in an administrative style with crisp and short sentences covering the relevant examples.
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