5 Recommended Public Administration Books for IAS

Public Administration is by far the most popular optional for IAS Mains and, naturally, has the highest share of successful candidates among all optionals. One of the reasons for its popularity is the relatively limited and well defined syllabus. Correspondingly the books required are also quite limited, more so for paper 2. So which books should you refer for Public Administration? Only five. Let’s find out which five.

1. Public Administration by Laxmikanth

If you’re new to Public Administration I highly recommend you first go through M. Laxmikanth’s Public Administration. This book introduces the basic concepts and theories in a very simple and engaging manner. Many IAS aspirants directly jump to Mohit Bhattacharya’s New Horizons in Public Administration with the result they end up giving up the subject altogether or get the impression that Pub Ad is not their cup of tea.

Public Administration has been divided into twelve chapters which provide a great deal information on each topic like Financial Administration, Theories of Administration among others. A must read book for grasping the fundamentals of Public Administration.

2. New Horizons of Public Administration by Mohit Bhattacharya

After going through Poly Naidu you should then dive into Public Administration, an indispensable book written by Mohit Bhattacharya, a renowned Public Administration scholar and writer.

This book covers the entire Paper 1 syllabus in different degrees. The chapters where it really shines are Bureaucratic Theory, Public Policies, Development Administration, and Decision Making. These are Bhattacharya’s forte and he has explained these topics really well in his own unique style.

Speaking of style the language in Public Administration might seem a little too difficult to grasp at first but when you have read and re-read the book 2 or 3 times (Yes you have to), you’ll actually enjoy its contents. A must read.

3. Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad

Administrative Thought is probably the most important topic in Paper 1 of Public Administration and you can expect at least two long questions from the Administrative Thought topic every year and the best book to refer for this all important topic is Administrative Thinkers by Prasad and Prasad.

It covers all the thinkers like Elton Mayo, Max Weber, Henry Simon etc in the new syllabus including Kautilya for Paper 2. Although quite a  slim book it contains a wealth of information. Administrative Thinkers is a must read book for Paper 1.

[thrive_text_block color=”note” headline=”Recommended Books for Prelims and Mains”]Apart from these Public Administration books, you should also refer these highly recommended books for GS Prelims and Mains. [/thrive_text_block]

Personnel Administration Notes of IGNOU

I could’ve listed a book here but why read more when you can make do with less and more effective material? Personnel Administration is a very important chapter from Mains point of view and one question is always asked from it. The IGNOU Pub Ad notes cover this topic quite well. Don’t read all the four volumes, just get this chapter somehow and you’re done.

4. Indian Public Administration by Arora and Goyal

If there’s one book I’ll recommend for Paper 2, it’s Indian Public Administration by Ramesh Arora and Rajni Goyal. An excellent book that covered almost 90 percent of old syllabus single-handedly, it still covers about 70-75 percent of the new Public Administration paper 2 syllabus.

The book explains all chapters really well including the Indian polity part and British administration, Mughal era and Kautilya’s theory.

In fact, you should read Indian Public Administration at least three times to really score well in Paper 2. Such is its significance.

5. Governance in India by Laxmikanth

The final book for Public Administration I will recommend is Governance in India by M Laxmikanth. This book nicely complements Indian Administration by Arora and Goyal recommended earlier. Apart from covering Central, State and District Administration in detail, this book also covers Finance and Personnel Administration topics which are listed in the syllabus for Paper 1. So with Governance in India, the final recommended book, the entire Public Administration syllabus is covered in detail.

IJPA Notes

Indian Journal of Public Administration (IJPA) contains many important articles on Indian Public Administration that you can readily use as case studies for Paper 1 and Paper 2 in the exam. IJPA is an indispensable resource for IAS Aspirants and if you have opted for Public Administration then please make sure you go through IJPA articles regularly.  A must read to acquaint oneself with the latest developments in Public Administration theory and practice.

Notes and Newspapers

For the new topics that have been added you should refer to the coaching notes I mentioned above as well as read a good newspaper like Indian Express as it covers administrative news items on a regular basis and Pub Ad requires supporting real life instances, particularly Paper 2. Newspaper reading is thus indispensable.

Quite frankly the above mentioned books and notes are adequate to cover the Public Administration paper 1 and paper 2 syllabus but if there is any new book that opens a new dimension or explains some topics in a better manner, please feel to share them in the comments below.

Print and Download PDF

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

170 thoughts on “5 Recommended Public Administration Books for IAS”

  1. hello sir,
    can you suggest me some specific and usefull books on anthropology. Specially on genetics and biological anthropology, and indian anthropology.

  2. Pingback: Your IPS Exam Queries Answered | IAS Kracker Blog

  3. Sir thanks for this gr8 work…it’ll definitely help us a lot…sir One request to you can you suggest books also on Sociology as u’v done here in PUBAD

    1. for GEOGRAPHY as an optionals,please note down the followings—
      1. the earth dynamics surface ,by K. siddartha
      2. atmosphere,weather and climate , K. siddhartha
      3. oceanogrphy : a brief introduction , by K. siddhartha
      4. economic geogrphy , by K. siddhartha
      5. nation-state territory & geo-politics , by K. siddhartha
      6. indian industry: a geographical perspective , by K. siddhartha
      7. india : the physical aspect , by K. siddhartha
      8. cities ,urbanisation ,urban system ,by K. siddhartha & S. mukherjee
      9. Ditionary for geogrphy ,by K. siddhartha & S. mukherjee AND/OR penguine publication
      10. comprehensive study materials of ENSEMBLE

    1. Please provide some information on writing skills and strategy for MAINS, as those who are unable to opt for coaching will remain unaware because only studying won’t get through exams.

        1. Dear lazylord or all guys…the link provided for the book public administration concept and theories by s.p.naidu is taking me to a book named public administration only whereas there is an another book available there in flipkart with the actual name as in list i.e public administration concept and theories by s.p.naidu….so plz make it clear that which book to follow….should i go with the name given by you or the link…plz respond asap..

          1. Hii,Thanks for helping the aspirants for saving their time on searching books for pub add,me too a IAS 2013 ASPIRANT.My query is that is A proper study of all these books enough to crack MAINS(Paper 1 and 2) or any additiional resource required to be covered and please guide how to corelate the mains syllabus with current news in Newspaper….Thank You….

    1. i want a list of books for sociology n particularly for paper 2 in which i can get to read abt indian thinkers like ghure,singh,iravati,desai.louis etc.

    2. First all just go for the notes of Sri Bhawani singh ,the teacher of the institute NYAS.the hindi medium notes are available at Kumar book shop,mukherjeenagar. I hope it must be available at Jawaher book shop,old JNU campus ,too.it is very important study material,i have seen few of the examinees who just go for rote memory of it ,and secured averagely good marks at mains and clicked for the merit list.i donot know whether notes of sir Mohenty of The Senergy are available in hindi or not.this one is very good ,too.

    3. here are some of the standard textbooks for CSE for hindi medium candidates for PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION -:

      PAPER-1
      ___________
      1. I.I.J.P. journal
      2. ignou textbooks for B.A. level( plus some reference notes from P.G. level ,too)
      3. Sri ram maheshwari’s book on Lok Prashasan

      PAPER-2
      ______________
      1. I.I.J.P. journal
      2. IGNOU textbooks
      3. Hoshiyar Singh’s book on Bhartiye Prashasan
      4. Bhartiye Sanvidhan ,by Dr. D. D. Basu

  4. herewith, i would like to add one more name ,viz., Dr. Remuki basu . Her treatise on the topic PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION is quite indispensible for paper-1. In this book the topic Comparative Public Administration has been dealt with in a very comprehensive manner.

  5. I am a software engineer .I hav to chose between Public Administration & Sociology.Which is better to take & i want to chose telugu as an optional

      1. Sir,

        I am an IAS aspirant who has completed MBA with marketing and as per the new pattern of CS Exam.I want to opt either economics/Public Administration/Management but when I was going through the syllabus and previous year question paper ,I saw Management is having very vast syllabus which is already vast and they made it more but Public Administration I found little cool.And Economics I had studied in Graduation.So it is also OK for me but I am little confused please suggest which one would help me in all the aspect while keeping in eye the new pattern.

        Thanking You in anticipation

    1. Hi, thanks for all the useful info. In your opinion, are Geography and Public admin. good choices for the mains, wrt preparation and scoring? I am sure about choosing PA, and I find Geography interesting. Is it possible to prepare thoroughly for Geo?
      I hope you put up a booklist for it soon.

      1. Thanx for this info…..as my second optional is psychology…so i request you to please upload the book list for psychology(mains) as well asap…..i will be grateful to you for this..

  6. Where will i find the various notes you have mentioned above? And if we have to refer to coaching notes, then why to go through so many books? Please provide a link for notes.

    1. Notes can be obtained from Jia Sarai or Mukherjee Nagar in Delhi. The notes should be combined with books mentioned for optimal results

      1. please give me the details about choosing of optionals at present i am doing my engineering 2nd year i am intrested in doing ias soo i am expecting some tips to overcome preparation for prelims

  7. Sir, I’m an IPS aspirant who did +2 in Bio, currently done with B.Com.(Hons.), and pursuing C.A. I think to take up Commerce & Accountancy And Public Administration as optionals. Thanks whole LOADS for the list here for Pub.Ad., but just wanted to request you to kindly publish the books recommended for C&A as well.
    Thanks whole loads again,
    Love,
    Sanan

  8. Respected sir,
    I m appearing for the F.Y.BA in 2011 year…
    but i want to start preparing for the upsc exam….
    so which subject should i take in F.Y.BA , so it can help me in IAS exam.

    1. Thank you vary much for giving the list of books for public administration . ..

      And I want to ask that I am pursuing Mechanical Engineering degree and I want to be IAS officer any how and I make choice for optional are Pub. Ad and Mechanical Engineering.

      My problem is there by help of you I get all the material regarding to GS and Pub. Ad but troubling to find out Mechanical Engineering.
      So will you help me to me get,
      1>Books for Mechanical Engineering
      2>Previous year question papres

      Willing for reply . ..

      1. Sir, i felt more complicated while reading Fadia & Fadia , for Pub Ad,
        I’m beginner in this . so Plz help me what book should i refer for Pub Ad,
        and also help me with books for sociology

    2. Don’t worry too much about your undergrad subjects but see if you can opt for a subject of your liking which you can also opt in the IAS exam.

    1. As for SP Naidu’s Public Administration Concepts and Theories and Poly (or Poli) Naidu’s book is concerned, I have found that these are the same books by the same author. Only that, the later one is more elaborate. SP Naidu and S Polinaidu are the same author.

    1. Pingback: Recommended Geography Books for IAS Exam | Best Books for IAS Prelims and Mains

  9. Sir, i am an engineering gard. i want to enquire abt optionals like LAW and Pol. Sc. does LAW require any previous background. how is it as an optional??? i mean does it reuire too much mugging up and remembering facts or its Logical… is it preferred by Science students???
    abt Pol. Sc…. i have thought abt Pub. Ad. but i hv heard that Pol.Sc. has too much of weightage in GS Mains Papers.. i m confused which one to take… i m doing Job as well… so plz consider this fact as well… for Pub. Ad. i hv thought of Geography as an optional…. but i think Geography is too lengthy and it falls immediately after Pub.Ad. mains paper so no time for revision… plz suggest some strategy … thanks

    1. Hi Abhishek,

      Regarding strategy for Mains prep, I will post about it soon. As far as Law is concerned, yes it’s mostly opted by candidates who have some background in it. Pub Ad and Pol Sc both have equal weightage in Mains so you should opt for the one that excites you more.

  10. Sir , pls help in selecting books for Pub Ad. i m really confused between Laxmikanth and SP Naidu .i will give Pre in 2012 .my background is Engineering so dont have much idea of Pub Ad .
    Also , suggest me books for Political science . was thinking of buying Laxmikanth and DD basu !

    1. Laxmikanth was more useful for Pre. SP Naidu is good for understanding the basics. Subhash Kashyap is any day better than DD Basu.

  11. Hi,

    I have chosen Public Administration & Anthropology as my optionals. It would be great if you could provide me with a list of the Ref books for Anthropology.

    Thank you for the Public Administration list.

  12. Hi, can you kindly tell us where/how do we get the quarterly journal of Indian Institute of Public Administration? I haven’t found it in their website. Thanks.

  13. Sir,

    I have started reading Fadia and Fadia – indian administration for paper 2. Kindly suggest if this book is good enough for the second paper.

    Also, Kindly suggest a starter’s book for sociology.

    1. I suggest you refer Rajni Goyal as mentioned in the post above. fadia and fadia is a blatant copy of many books. It’s surprising they are not facing any copyright infringement notices.

  14. Hi Sir,

    Sincerely appreciate the list of books…had a doubt though – i am unable to find the original book by sp naidu, either in a bookstore or online – the bookstores i approached seem to b unaware of the fact that there exists another book by the author???

  15. Thanks a lot sir for giving this valuable information.

    My optional subjects are Chemistry and Pub Ad.

    Can you please suggest me some books for chemistry as well..

  16. thanx sir,……………..4 d past 1 month i waz so much confused that i can not tell u,………….bt vd diz m 2much confident,…………….thanku again sir

  17. Hullo…
    Thank you so much for all your posts..i just happened to come across this site and I’m finding it really informative. 2 doubts-

    1. Is it too late to start reading the newspaper now? Do i need to get the last 2-3 months newspapers also? I have never read one in my life and i really tried to read it for a few days but then got bored and left it. Please do not think i’m not serious. I am. just that this preparation requires much more than i anticipated. As I read about this exam I realise newspaper is a must without which it would be difficult to clear pre or mains so i plan to start reading it. can i do with just HINDU? or is EXPRESS a must as u have mentioned its good for pub-ad which is one of my optionals.

    2. My coaching happened to recommend FADIA and FADIA public adm- adm theories and concepts.You have not mentioned it anywhere. Is it a total waste or are some topics good?

    thanx…

  18. sir,
    thanks a lot for your valuable informations.i have a doubt regarding the printed notes of coaching institutes.is i helpful ?if so,,could you help me out with some good institutes names so that i could get it..
    regards
    sarath

  19. hello Sir,
    I have gone through all of your blogs, basically I am working in a company and want to appear for the exam in the next year, your guidance was amazing, it clarified my most of the doubts and plus provided me with some very good books…
    I also wanted to ask 1 thing (evryone please suggest),if I take optionals pub ad and sociology… how will it turn out?… or socio and geography?…
    any guidance will be helpful….

    1. dear nitish i also select public admin. and sociligy for the exam for I A S and fell thats good combination n if u got any new regarding pls update i giv e this exam in hindi medium

  20. Dear Lazylord, I am an engg grad and I want to sit for the cse 2012. I have thought of Pub Add and Psychology as my optionals in mains. Is it a good choice? I am new to both subjects and don’t know the amount of gap between these two papers given in mains. Plz do help me out. BTW, your articles on books for cse are mind blowing. Thanks. can you suggest books for pychology as well? The books for pub add are really a time saver and great as well…

    1. Hi abdullah,

      Please don’t select optionals based on the time gap between papers. This keeps changing year to year. If you find the subjects interesting go for them. Yes I will post about Psycho books soon.

  21. hello sir,,,,
    i am a science graduate then did master in finance. I am preparing for 2013
    but confused with subjects.
    1 economics i am very comfortable with application of concepts so shall i go with it.
    2. public administration: I read some content of vajirao notes and feel comfortable but i think i can score more in management paper as the second paper of management is totally numerical.
    3. management : there is a confusion what i should choose, management or public administration, i have gone trough the syllabus of management i feel comfortable with previous year’s question papers. As i explained you before about numerical section some body told me there would be scaling of marks and ultimately i will around 300,,is it like this ? Second problem is about study material as i searched many sites and inquired many institution for coaching or any study material but failed to get it. Third i request you to share trend of marks in management exam if you have any information abut it.

    Sir please don’t mind as i have asked many questions in one shot but i am desperate to start it and in dire need of your guidance.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Thank you

  22. dear sir i am an aspirant of cse 2012 my subjects are public ad and history in hindi medium i have covered almost all the syllabus of these two subjects but i have not done any writting practice of these subjects for prellims exam there are only two months left what should i do should i start practice of writting or should concentrate on prellims i am doing job and i have very less time for study please give me suggetions i am so tensed.

  23. sir i have a hindi background basically from rajashthan and after 12th i study in english medium still i got allways first class but i want to appear in hindi medium for i a s exam can it ???and your suggested books for pub. admin is available in hindi medium sir ???
    pls guide me ???

    1. Yes Kamal you can appear in Hindi medium. Most of the book mentioned here are available in hindi medium except a few. Try searching your local book store.

  24. Hello Sir…I’ll be appearing for civil services exam in 2013.There are talks about optionals being completely removed from 2013 onwards.I am taking admission in coaching institute where classes commences from 1st june.Can you please suggest whether Should I take admission for mains optional papers alongwith GS or should I wait for the notification from UPSC?
    My paper combination is Geography an Pub Ad.
    Please suggest!!

  25. hello sir,
    there is a book “Political Science For Civil Services Examination by N D Arora”
    please give me is it better to follow this book having all syllabus?
    hoping for sooner reply.

    thnx a lot for ur nice blog.

  26. Enlisting books on Pub Ad comprehensively chapter-wise is very thoughtful…If possible, kindly chalk out the list in similar manner for Law (main) Paper also..It would be quite helpful..

  27. thanks for giving very enthusiasm guidence for pub ad sir…..if u known indian history for mains optional will u give some adequate book names

  28. thanks for giving very enthusiasm guidence for pub ad sir…..if u known indian history for mains optional will u give some adequate book names

  29. Sir,
    I am a law graduate, i want to appear in 2013, my interests are Law and Philosophy, as i did B.A in philosophy. But some of my friends ask me to choose Public Ad and Sociology, as they said , succes rate of these two subjects is higher than Law and Philosophy. (Is that true?) So, Sir Tell me, which subjects i should choose?

  30. Sir,
    I am a law graduate, i want to appear in 2013, my interests are Law and Philosophy, as i did B.A in philosophy. But some of my friends ask me to choose Public Ad and Sociology, as they said , succes rate of these two subjects is higher than Law and Philosophy. (Is that true?) So, Sir Tell me, which subjects i should choose?

  31. Dear sir, i have already prepared gs and csat. i was quite 2012 exam just because i have not prepared with optionals. now i am targeted 2013. so sir plz advice me about optional that is not affected more with any changes in mains 2013. should i go with coaching of optional from now? plz solve my problem sir.

  32. Dear sir, i have already prepared gs and csat. i was quite 2012 exam just because i have not prepared with optionals. now i am targeted 2013. so sir plz advice me about optional that is not affected more with any changes in mains 2013. should i go with coaching of optional from now? plz solve my problem sir.

  33. sir,thanks for suggesting these best books and i am finding problem in how to purchase where we get them because we people like me are not in cities

      1. hi sir..im a gradute student..in plus2 bi.p.c…& in graduation commerce…i want prepare for civils..can u please help me out how to start preparation, wat will be the procedure for preparation..wat r the books i need to refer…and wat are optionals subjects…pls…

  34. sir,thanks for suggesting these best books and i am finding problem in how to purchase where we get them because we people like me are not in cities

  35. i hv passed out 12th dis year, i wanna be an ias officer. so suggest me books for preparation in public ad.

  36. hi sir..im a gradute student..in plus2 bi.p.c…& in graduation commerce…i want prepare for civils..can u please help me out how to start preparation, wat will be the procedure for preparation..wat r the books i need to refer…and wat are optionals subjects…pls…

  37. hi sir… i m a student of b.tech 2nd year…..can u plzzz tell me that which will be the best optional subject with public ad from art subjects..for me the public ad is fixed but confused about other optional subject…….plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz help me…………

  38. hi sir…i m a student of b.tech second year(ME)….i want to start my study for ias from now…….confusion is that…..should i read all the books from 11th class to graduation for public ad..for basic in pa…….or just start reference books…….

  39. Well, i hav gone thru ur colmn n i like the way you have covered all the topics related to the IAS preparation as well as have given answers to most of the queries. I just want to know whther the books you hv prescribed for Pub Ad r sufficient or one needs to go through other material as well in order to get the whole idea. i am a beginner n hav no idea ab the sub. Hope u will guide me abt s same.
    thnks.

  40. saikumar:
    i would like write in telugu so plz tell me authors names and book details for public adminstration..
    as well as telugu literature…

    than q sir…

  41. sir, thanks for the valuable information you have provided. I want to choose History and Geography as optional subjects, because i am intrusted in them. please tell me if is it okay to go on with them?

  42. sir, sp naidu’s book is no longer availabe on flipkart.com can u suggest any other book for beginners?
    thanks

  43. Hi Sir,
    Kindly help me out with a query. As i am an aspirant of Civil services, i am suffering from an dilemma that whether i should go for masters in my field( computer sci) or masters in my optional for IAS ( Pub ad)?
    Please Revert as soon as possible.
    Regards

  44. sir,
    i really appreciate ur work. kindly tell me what to study and what not to for ias 2014. i m confused with the vast syllabus. plz guide me sir

  45. Sir,
    I need a list of books for history for CSE mains preparation and also want to know about the preparation strategy for the subject.

  46. thanks for the useful info,,sir please tel,,if the notes of vajiram is sufficent for the general studies mains and please give the list of books for gs mains like you hvae provided for preliums.

  47. manasnayak51@gmail.com

    sir i want to prepare by management and public administration , guide me books for this subjects
    thanking you sir,

  48. Dear Sir,
    I have just beginer of IAS Exam. I want to take Public ad. & Sociology as optional subject. My medium is Hindi. Pls Sir tell me both Optional book in Hindi Medium.
    Second thing I belong to village area where news paper are available in only hindi medium like Dainik jagran, Hindusthan, Amar Ujala. In which should I prefer.
    I have Complete Science graduation 09 after that I pick a pvt job now a days I resign my job aug 13.
    Can this Possible to crack the IAS Exam almost 4 year not tuch in reading only doing a job?

  49. CAN U TELL ME WITCH SUBJECT WILL BE BETTER ECONOMICS OR PUBLIC AD AND PLESE ALSO RECOMMEND BOOKS FOR BOTH SUBJECT ANH PRTE EXAM

  50. siddharth sharma

    hi.sir i am a student of science background and i want to choose between political science and pub add ..which will be gud for me as my optional for upsc ..please help

  51. Ferrel Heady Book on Comparitive Administration is Good. Also Laxmikant books can be make use by the aspirants

  52. sir,
    i have completed my graduation…i want to start preparation for ias..can u help me to how start the preparations??? pls provide the details for this….

  53. Sir i have joined indian railway as senior engg.I am 25 yrs old now.I want to prepare for upsc exam. Iam an average student but laborius. Actually i want to know is it right decision to prepare for upsc exam with persuing job and choosing optional paper other than engg. paper

  54. sir i m confuse since i m dr whch sub to choose as optional geography or public administration….plzzzz help me… i m new to both

  55. Sir,
    Your remcomentation have been very helpful. But,this particular book “Administrative behaviour:Managing organization behaviour” is it a journal or a book? Author or publication name please.

  56. I am Engineering Student from 1st year . Sir Firstly I, thought that I would keep History as my optional ,sir I love Mordern Freedom struggle the Era from 1800-1947 , but its gets very diffucult to cope up with Medevial and Ancient history
    So what should I do keep history the same as my optional or opt for different subject sir plzz guide

  57. Hello Sir,
    I am currently doing my 2nd year of my UG. I have so far never done anything of Commerce or Economics in my studies. was a Bio Math student from School, and now doing Communicative English. Since my childhood i had no interest in subjects that were dry like History, Geography ,Sociology and so on. But since i have determined to become an IAS on no matter what, after quite some suggestions and things as that, I have decided to take Public Administration as my Optionals and found your blog to be very impressive and helpful. Thank you so much for that. But now my question is, are these books now sufficient enough to clear mains as of 2017′ syllabus? will this optional really be helpful to score marks in the mains? since i know nothing of Public Administration, is it okay to just rely on your book list ? can you please kindly get me clear on that Sir?.

  58. Hello sir ,
    Can’t I use public administration by laxmikanth Only and not Mohit bhattacharya’s book ?
    Because : it is in simple language and every topper says go with simple language in exam .
    ??

    1. Hello Inayat,

      Sure. If you feel you only want to refer Laxmikant’s book then read it but complement it with some good notes for Pub Ad.

  59. ninganna prashanth

    hello sir,
    Is it possible to understand by reading m.laxmikanth’s book for the first time
    or shall I start with basic NCERT books.please suggest me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top