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It's not for nothing that Public Administration is the most popular optional for the civil services exams. It has a relatively short syllabus, can be covered within 8 months, and is safe and scoring in pre as well as IAS mains. But let's just focus on preparation strategy for civil services prelims right now.

Recommended Books for Public Administration:

1. New Horizons of Public Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya (must read).

2. Indian Public Administration by Rajni Goyal and Ramesh K Arora ( till recently this was the only book to be read for paper 2 of mains. It is still the most crucial book for P2).

3. Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad (must read for mains paper one).

4. Public Administration and Public Affairs by Nicholas Henry (some chapters need more focus than others).

5. Development Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya (many new topics of the changed syllabus for mains are covered in this book).

Notes: Vajiram and Ravi's printed notes for civil services Pre and mains (very useful).

  • Newspaper clippings. This is very important as Pub Ad is a very dynamic subject and deals with governments functioning, which is tracked by the media. Although The Hindu is a must read, I will recommend Indian Express for Pub Ad preparation.

  • Go through the reports of various committees and commissions set up to evaluate governmental functioning. This includes the pay commission reports, administrative reform commission and other panel’s reports.

  • Functioning, powers of constitutional bodies. Go through the Articles concerning PRIs very thoroughly. Polity alone can fetch you 15-20 marks.

List of reference books for Public Administration Mains

v  Paper I:

1.   Chapter-I: Introduction

Mohit Bhattacharya: New Horizons of Public Administration

Nicholas Henry : Public Administration and Public Affairs

Special Issues of Indian Journal of Public Administration

2.   Chapter-II: Theories of Administration

D. Ravindra Prasad, V.S. Prasad and P. Satyanarayana : Administrative Thinkers

D. Gvishiani Organisation and Management: A Critique of Western Theories.

3.   Chapter-III: Structure of Public Organisations :

R.K. Jain : Public Sector Undertakings; and

Mohit Bhattacharya : New Horizons of Public Administration

4.   Chapter-IV: Administrative Behaviour

Paul Hersey : Organisational Behaviour


Stephen P. Robbin : Organisational Behaviour

5.   Chapter-V: Accountability and Control:

Mohit Bhattacharya : New Horizons of Public Administration

Special Issues of Indian Journal of Public Administration on Accountability

6.   Chapter-VI: Administrative Law:

Massey :Administrative Law


M.P. Jain :Administrative Law

7.   Chapter-VII: Administrative Reforms:

P.R. Dubbashi : Administrative Reforms

G.E. Gaiden :Administrative Reforms

8.   Chapter-VIII: Comparative Public Administration:

Ferrel Heady : Public Administration-A Comparative Perspective


R.K. Arora : Comparative Public Administration

9.   Chapter-IX: Development Administration:

Ferrel Heady : Public Administration - A Comparative Perspective


R.K. Arora : Comparative Public Administration

10.  Chapter-X: Public Policy :

IGNOU Lessons on Public Policy

R. K. Sapra : Public Policy

11.  Chapter-XI: Personnel Administration:

O Glenn :Stahl : Public Personnel Administration

S. L. Goel : Personnel Administration in India.

12.  Chapter-XII: Financial Administration

M. J. K. Thavaraj :Public Financial Administration


G.S. Lal :Financial Administration in India

IGNOU Lessons on Financial Administration

v Paper II:

1.   Chapter-I: Evolution of Indian Administration

B.N. Puri Administrative History of India (Vol. I, II and III)

2.   Chapter-II: Constitutional Framework

D. D. Basu An Introduction to the Constitution of India

3.   Chapter-III: Union Government and Administration

A. Avasthi Central Administration

4.   Chapter-IV: State Government and Administration

J.D. Shukla State Administration

5.   Chapter-V: District Administration

T.N. Chaturvedi District Administration; and

Special Issue of Indian Journal of Public Administration on District Administration

6.   Chapter-VI: Local Government

S.R. Maheswari Local Government in India

7.   Chapter-VII: Public Sector in India

R. K. Jain Public Sector Undertakings

Annual Survey on Public Sector of Department of Public Enterprises

8.   Chapter-VIII: Public Services

S.L. Goel Personnel Administration in India

9.   Chapter-IX: Control of Public Expenditure

M. J. K. Thavaraj Financial Administration

IGNOU Lessons on Financial Administration

10.   Chapter-X: Administrative Reforms

P.R. Dubbashi Administrative Reforms

S. R. Maheswari Administrative Reforms

Special Issue of Indian Journal of Public Administration on Administrative Reforms

11.  Chapter-XI: Machinery for Planning

A. Avasthi Central Administration

12.  Chapter-XII: Administration of Law and Order

K. K. Sharma Law and Order Administration in India

K. J. Guha Roy, District Policing

13.  Chapter-XIII: Welfare Administration

Annual Reports of Department of Social Welfare

14.  Chapter-XIV: Major Issues in Indian Administration

Special Issue of Indian Journal Public Administration on Indian Administration, Retrospect and Prospect and on Good Governance.

7 Responses so far.

  1. Admin says: offers extensive list of original IGNOU books  provided by the University, help books and guide books. It also has complete range of books on NIOS, SSC, NDA, CDS, and other exams.

  2. dear Abhijit

    You have done very good job in sharing knowledge about Public Administration. I am in need of the book "Administrative Thinkers" in pdf form. If you have this book in pdf form, would you please send me. My email add is

    I am from Nepal. There are very few books mostly old books available in Nepal. That's why I am asking you. If you have any books on Public Administration, Development Management or Public Policy. Please please send me. I will very happy to find you.

    Raj Shrestha
    Kathmandu, Nepal

  3. @ Raj Shrestha,

    I don't have any eBook for Theories of Administration but I have my personal compiled notes on Theories of Administration. I have scanned them and u can download it from the link below...

    I hope this will address ur need..

    Abhijit Jadhav

  4. amit says:

    hi abhijit
    the link is not working
    can u plz upload this on 4shared or rapidshare

  5. abby says:

    I am appearing Ias and being enrolled in, As i am a working employee and I really don't get enough time to go for coaching. I just want to ask have I taken the right step by enrolling online?

  6. Abhi says:

    I want administrative thinkers prasad prasad full book in PDF format...

  7. Good books. Will come handy for every civils aspirant. All these books are available at for good prices. Yesterday I bought one book there. Got for very less price :)

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