Discuss the Role of Public Administration in Developing Societies.

Public Administration as an aspect of governmental activity which is very old. It is as old as human history. In European languages the term public administration began in 17th century. It was a period of when the Church was separated form the state and government. In every society there are some activities like maintenance of law and order and defense which have to be undertaken in public interest.

Public Administration as an instrument of government is mainly concerned with the performance of these activities. The origin and evolution of public administration as a distinctive subject can be traced from 1887 onward.

Public Administration as afield of systematic study and it is as an aspect of governmental activity. According to Woodrow Wilson, “Public Administration is detailed and systematic application of law. Every particular application of law, is an act of administration.” In short, public administration is related with:

  • The formulation and implementation of public policies,
  • The executive branch of government,
  • The structures and machinery of administration,
  • Administrative processes,
  • Bureaucracy and its activities,
  • Coordination of group activity or social relationship,
  • Interaction between organisations and their environment.

The developing societies has only 70 per cent of the world population and also 20 per cent of the world income. Economic and social forces, both internal and external are responsible for the poverty, inequality and low productivity that commonly characterize most third world nations. It also arises out of the political instability of mumerdus third world nations. Moreover, larger the group of officials affected by a change of power, the most difficult it will be to maintain any continuity in the formulation and execution of policy.

Common Characteristics of Developing Nations:

Size and Income Level: 141 developing countries that are permanent members of the United Nations, 72 have less than 15 million people and 51 less than 5 million.

Historical Background: The economic structure as well as their educational and social institutions,, have been modeled on those of their former colonial rulers.

Industrial Structure: The vast majority of developing countries are agrarian in economic, social and cultural outlook.

Low Level of Living: In developing nations, general levels of living tends to be very low for the vast majority of people. These low levels of living are manifested qualitatively and qualitatively in the form of low income, inadequate housing, poor health, limited or no education, high infant mortality, low life and work expectancy and in many cases.

Role of Public Administration in Developing Societies

Economic Activity: The governments of the developing countries assumes great responsibilities in providing capital for economic and social development. Therefore, planning has been widely accepted as a main instrument of achieving national development goals.

In Social and Educational Activity: Specially in the social field, the government of the developing countries has responsibility of improving the well-being of the people. It is the duty of each and every country to remove poverty, disease and social illness from the nations. The higher education and intensive training of skill, manpower, especially scientists, engineers, doctors, administrators and other technical personnel have become the responsibility of the government.

Political Activity: Aspects of political development, such as the building of the nation-state, modernization of law, strengthening of the legislature, executive and judiciary and other political institutions are mainly deals with the government administration.

Thus, in the developing world of Asia, Africa and Latin America, governments play a vital role in the field of national development. The countries want to be developed in the sense of increase in national per capital income and sustained social and economic welfare of their people. In these countries public sector has come to occupy a place of far reaching importance.

Criticism: Developing societies facing a lot of problems just like poverty, disease and social illness. Developing nation always exploited by the developed, countries. They always follow the science and technology of developed countries. Today, developing countries facing a great problem such as corruption, population and pollution.

In many underdeveloped countries the low revenue yield of taxation can only be attributed to the fact that the tax provisions are not properly enforced, either on account Of the inability of the administration. An efficient administration consisting of persons of high integrity is usually the most important requirement for obtaining maximum revenue and exploiting fully the taxation of a country.

Conclusion: On the whole, public administration is a force of considerable importance in production, not only in term of the productive capabilities in the public sector, but also in their impact through regulatory and other activities on national consumption and on production in the private sector.

Administrative capability has to be enhanced to handle efficiency the problems of development and social change. Public administration must itself adopt to changing circumstances if it is to be an effective instrument for desired economic and social changes. This task calls for modernization and development of administrative machinery.

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