- Optional IAS Helpline > Optional
( Akriti Shukla, M.A. (Psychology), Kanpur, Via: E-Mail )
CSC: Dear Akriti, if you want to score good marks in Public Administration, then you will need some basics approach to help you find a suitable subject. First, your concepts should be clear. Second, your ability to express the concept clearly (logically) on paper which requires a lot of writing practice. It will also need your ability to relate the subject with current affairs especially administrative and political issues. You should also have the ability to substantiate your argument with facts, evidence, and committee reports, etc. Impart these angles to almost every answer that you write.
Do not take the subject solely because some neighbour/friend/relative/acquaintance IAS officer took it and scored good marks. Also, don’t take it because it overlaps with GS II, III & IV substantially. Or, if you think syllabus is shorter and can be finished earlier than most other optional papers or it seems easy to comprehend and effortless. You should go for it, if administrative matters in general genuinely evoke your interest; if you really like reading Indian Polity; and if you have some experience of working in an organization and you have begun to show interest in group management/organizational behaviour/personnel management, etc.
At last, understanding a subject and expressing it on paper showing that you have understood it are two entirely different ball games. This is where most of the candidates miss it.