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Old Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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Public Administration has been viewed as a scoring subject and something that is easy to crack. Many candidates say that Sultan Khan’s book is the best out there to get 78 in the subject. I would, however, disagree to that approach. The old P Ad syllabus was very basic and the questions were straight forward, one needed to know the basic terms and a bunch of definitions to pass. However, if you look at the post 2016 syllabus then they have added some really important, but complex topics here.
Following are few examples:
Public Policy Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Strategic Planning and Management; Planning Process; Policy Analysis; Policy Implementation; Program Evaluation; Planning Machinery; Role of Donors and International Institutions in Public Policy and Management; Policy making and implementation of Federal Government of Pakistan.
Public Management Skills :- Communication; Decision Making, Conflict Management; Leading, Administrative Buffering; Managing Change; Managing Diversity; Stress Management; Delegation; Public Service Motivation; Creativity and Problem Solving; Issues of Public Management.
The Civil Service of Pakistan:- Historical Background of Civil Service, The Structure of civil Service; History of Civil Service Reform; Management of Civil Service; Institutional and Cultural Context of Civil Service; Role of Civil Service in Good Governance, Gender and Civil Service.
Organization of Provincial and Local Government :- Governance Structure of Provincial Administration; Organization of Provincial Secretariat; Organization and Functions of Provincial Authorities and Agencies and their Relationship with Government Departments; Post-devolution Local Governance; Organization and Functions of District Government and Administration; Organization and Structure of City District Government; Issues and Challenges of Local Governance.


Now Sultan Khan’s book either doesn’t have these topics or the topics have out-dated information. I know that Sultan Khan is an easy book for someone who is new to P.Ad, but it will be a complete waste of time to read something that is outdated. Keep in mind that CSS P ad has had a varying scoring trend because it really depends who is making the exam and what type of questions they are producing. Sometimes there are straight fwd. questions like this one:
It is easier to make a constitution than to run it. Discuss in the light of Politics Administration dichotomy.
Then there are interdisciplinary questions like:
Appropriate separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches ensure effective check and balance and hence accountable public administration. Discuss the statement in the light of historic Watergate scandal, which forced Nixon to resign as head of public bureaucracy.
Then there are questions that are 100% based on your opinion:
Discuss why it may be in the best interest of both the public and government for administrators to have public administration background rather than having degree in the area of economics, political science or business studies?
There have also been questions that have nothing to do with the syllabus:
Is Public Administration only a simple summation of private interest? Argue win the light of theory of John Rawls.
Explain the similarities and differences between Hersey and Blachards's Situational Theory and House of Path's Goal Theory. Which one do you think is appropriate for contemporary situation of Pakistan and why?


So basically, even though CSS specific books that cover most of the Public Ad content are helpful, they are not very useful in dealing with answers. Most of the recent papers have dealt with US history and Political Sciences concepts. So what must be done in order to crack this subject? There are three books that will help here:
  • Public Administration: An Action Orientation by denhardt
  • Governing the ungovernable by Dr Ishrat
  • Public Administration in South asia (Pakistan Section only) by meghna sabharwal

You can get these books from HEC digital Library as they are not available in the market

Also remember that it will be good to read political sciences theories as well and watch VU’s public ad (a lot like Sultan Khan, so you can skip that book) and public policy lectures.


The point is that CSS has changed a lot after 2016, and critical thinking and deep analysis is being given preference. Candidates who have been giving their own opinions get more marks than the one that simply reproduce the facts, and therefore there is a need to change the tradition or pre 2016 approach to most of the optional.
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Thank your for elaboration!

Can you please help in finding the books you mentioned? access to HEC digital library is only for students / faculty of universities / institutes..
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You can access it on your university wifi or email your library for them
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I have noticed that a specific theory is mentioned in question papers, to elucidate upon or apply in a context. Is there any place where we can get a list of the many theories which may be asked about in Public Ad paper?
The books mentioned above, will they suffice for a list of the theories?

(For example:
Rawls theory, Prismatic SALA theory, goal theory, situation theory.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamIronMan View Post
You can access it on your university wifi or email your library for them
Not available on HEC digital library catalog. I searched by author name. Only five books available.

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