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T.C.A. Ramanuja Chari

A SURVEY OF RESEARCH IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Edited by H.K. Paranjape & V.A. Pai Panandikar
Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1975, 556, 60.00

PARLIAMENTARY CONTROL OVER FINANCE
By Dr. S. Seshadri
Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1975, 295, 45.00

VOLUME I NUMBER 2 April - June 1976

It is difficult to do full justice to the quality of the massive effort culminating in this diligent compilation of published material on the title of the book. The survey induces sadness at what appears to be a near total lack of (a) research into the more fundamental issues of public administration, (b) depth and penetration in such studies as have been made or come to notice. The presentations are competent but do not appear to have escaped the temptation to highlight the fashion to berate the bureaucracy for its alleged 'dysfunctional' nature. Could it be that there has been no study of or probe into, in the main or incidentally, the limiting factors of the effectiveness of bureaucracy—some of which are attributable to Social Dynamics such as the current social inventory, levels of aspirations, the feasi­ble pace of change, the level of adaptability to change and the capacity to cushion ‘future shock’ and some of which are relatable to resources and capability constraints? Or could it be that the significant mutations in attitudes, perspectives, innovative capacity, readiness to induct sound managerial techniques have completely escaped notice that the presentations do not mention them? Some of the presentations are delightful and some seem to lack balance, purpose and direction. Some like the trend report on ‘Administration and Politics’ and the first two presentations appear to attempt too much and end by discrediting all concerned. The trend report on ‘Administration of Law and Order’ typifies occu­pational myopia as it concentrates exclusively on the ‘Police’ and excludes the non-police aspects of ensuring public order. The survey report on Administrative Law and Judicial Administration is fragmentary and fails to notice many important aspects of the subject. The trend report on Administration and Defence appears to deride security considerations and in its obsession with ‘decision making’ neglects other relevant and interest­ing aspects that have been studied. The few points of criticism are not made to deni­grate the value of the survey. It is a valuable addition of considerable merit. Parliamentary Control Over Finance claims to be a ‘study in depth’ focusing attention on ‘the peculiari­ties’ of the Public Accounts Committee of the Parlia­ment of India and covers the formative first fifteen years of the life of the Committee after the commencement of the Constitution which period was too short for the Committee to develop fully as the ...


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