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Detailed study of Public administration- History, meaning, definition

Presence of administration in early Periods:- 

• As a field of systematic study public administration is a little over hundred years old. However as an activity it can be traced to the earliest Periods of human history when man started living in Organised societies.

• Administration of the state in the earliest ancient and medieval periods is was Authorised, Patriarchal, and elitist in character entrusted with the task of maintenance of law and order, collection of Revenue, etc.

• However in modern welfare state old Patriarchal, hereditary state officialdom has been replaced by public bureaucracy, recruited on the basis of public laws and performing task truly public in nature, helping in evolution of welfare state.

• All mass movement, since the eighteenth century have contributed to the increasing volume, range and scope of public administration.

• Public administration is indispensably present in all states, be they capitalist, socialist or developing in nature.

• In developing countries like India, It is the main instrument of socio economic transformation.

>>> In modern welfare state Public administration defined in several ways 

• As an aspect of government activity , Public administration has been co-existing with every political system as the action part of government for the fulfillment of the objectives set by the political decision makers.

• Therefore, before understanding the meaning of public administration, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the word 'administration'. The English word 'administer' is derived from a combination of two Latin world's 'ad' and 'ministare' meaning 'to serve' or 'to manage'. Literally the term 'administration' means management of affairs- public or private.

L.D. Whites defined the term administration as: '' The art of administration is the direction, co-ordination and control of many persons to achieve some purpose or objective.''

• Public administration is a specialized activity that deals with the task of implementation of public policy, largely by executive branch.

•  Public administration is the implementation of government policy and also an academic disciplines that studies this implementation and prepare civil servants for working in the public service and public administration also manage and improve the government function for better function of government.

• Atlthough it has been accepted by all scholars that public administration is a particular sector of broader field of administration that deals with the mighty task of policy implementation.

>>>Some well known definition of public administration are:-


L.D. White :- "Public administration consists all those operations having for their purpose the fulfillment or enforcement of public policy." (L. D. White 1948 )

Woodrow Wilson :- "Public administration is detailed and systematic application of law. Every particular application of law is an act of administration." ( Wilson,1941)

Dimock :- "Public administration is concerned with the 'what' and the 'how' of government. The 'what' is the subject- matter, the technical knowledge of a field which enables an administration to perform his tasks. The 'how' is the techniques of management, the principles according to which co-operative programmes are carried through success. Each is indispensable, together they form the synthesis called the Public administration." ( Dimock 1937)

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