Friday, December 19, 2014

Why Public Administration as a discipline should not be defined

Ques.9. “It would appear that any definition of this field [Public Administration] would be either so encompassing as to call forth the wrath or ridicule of others, or so limiting as to stultify its own disciples Mosher. Critically Comment. 

Ans. ‘Defining the domain of Public Administration is a difficult task to undertake this can be manifested by the below example –

Uttarakhand disaster left the whole country devastated. The Government is now obviously looking for safeguards to be implemented in order to reduce the loss of life and property if any disaster like this occurs in future. Now to search for safeguards scientific, geographical, geological, habitation and many other aspects need to be looked into. So in order to perform Disaster Management which is a part of Public Administration we need to look into many technical disciplines.

So in order to perform Public Administration we need to have a basic know how of all those disciplines which directly or indirectly affect the public. Precisely this may be the reason that the Indian Civil Services Exams expects the aspirants to have a basic know how of major disciplines which influence the public directly. Not only science, sometimes Public Administration brings within its ambit the disciplines of arts and humanities as well.

We can quote the example of Scientific Management Theory, New Public and Development administration, NPM etc. to manifest the dynamism of this discipline (Pub Ad).

But what is the limit? This has been the question of scholars of others disciplines. How much can Public Administration encroach in the territory of other disciplines and still claim itself to be a unique discipline has been a matter of intense debate for past many decades.

On other hand if this domain is limited only to administration then the scholars of this field will suddenly find them isolated as public policy making is one main objective of Government administration which cannot be carried out in isolation.

So it is futile to discuss the domain of Public Administration rather it should be treated as a multi disciplinary approach to achieve the highest amount of efficiency in Govt. administration.

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