Public Administration Answer Writing Practice 2018 - Week 2 - Question 6

90 Days Public Administration Answer Writing Practice Question 2 for 23-Nov-2018

Instructions for Writing Answer

1. Write your answers in the comment section.


2. Experts will provide their feedback in reply.

3. Model Answers will be uploaded on this page the next day.

4. Rectify your mistakes and progress further.

5. All the Best.

23-Nov-2018 - Question 2

Explain in full how a balance can be struck between autonomy and accountability of India's public enterprises. (2015)

For Question 1 - Click Here

Model Answer

The structure of Indian polity has made it nearly impossible for these PSUs to work in an effective manner in the current market system. A fine balance between autonomy and accountability suggest that though public sector units must be accountable to parliament, government and larger public for their performance, fiscal conditions and achievement of the larger social objective but it should not hamper their autonomy. Thus ensuring autonomy is vital for their performance. But at the same time, PSUs can't be judged on their book profits alone. They denote the people's aspirations and are set up with their money. Effective oversight must be there to hold them accountable to their social and political goals too.


This can be achieved by:-

  1. The signing of more MoUs between the govt and the company. This is to clearly demarcate what is expected from both parties. It also sets measurable parameters for judgement. So far our experience on this front has been positive.

  2. Granting of special status like Maharatna, Navaratna, miniratna , which entail their own levels of autonomy in their financial and administrative spheres. Such categorizations should be kept updated according to the needs of the times and regular revision be done.

  3. A gradual process of debureaucratization to let progressive administrative procedures to follow. like giving specialists preference over generalists, allowing lateral entry, etc.

  4. Adopting progressive administrative techniques like PPBS budgeting system, MIS and others.

  5. Efforts for adopting entrepreneurial techniques to maximise the profits. for example constant efforts of AIL to compete with railways.

  6. Appointment of Chief’s of PSUs based on recommendations of independent selection Panel by the government and fixing clear goals to heads for fiscal accountability.

  7. Setting standards for auditing and accounting procedures and sufficient autonomy to self-evaluate the processes followed.

  8. Over watch by various committees of the parliament and the CAG must be revamped so as not to cause the management to be afraid to make decisions.

  9. Introducing modern budgeting techniques like outcome-based budgeting in PSUs for efficient resource utilization.

It is important that we ensure that our PSUs are capable of dealing with the situations that arise and at them same time make sure that the people can hold them accountable to the fullest


Note: There is no template for a correct UPSC answer, the model answer is only for your reference




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