Role and Importance of Public Administration in Contemporary Times

Role and Importance of Public Administration:

The importance of Public Administration in modern times can be hardly over-emphasized. It stands accepted as one of the most essential and important areas of human activity and concern. In fact, now it covers every aspect of human life- right from birth to death, and even before birth and after death. From morning to evening, man is face-to-face with and benefited from the services of Public Administration. The complexities arising out of the modern age of industrialization and urbanization have enhanced the socioeconomic development role of the State. This has in turn invigorated and expanded the role and importance of public administration.  Public administration is indeed one of the essential conditions of the civilized life of human beings in a society. “They’re rude”There would,” as Burke rightly remarks “be no existence without administration.” It is important not only as an instrument of governance but also as an important mechanism for preserving and promoting the welfare of society. The importance of Public Administration has been very aptly brought out by Prof. Donhan when he says, “If our civilization fails, it would be largely because of the breakdown of Public Administration.”

The importance of Public Administration has been increasing day by day. The State can exist without a legislature and judiciary but not without Public Administration. Legislature and Judiciary both enjoy vacations but the executive and administration cannot rest even for a second. For securing our interests and needs and for solving our problems, each one of us deals with Public Administration at every step of life and hence, one cannot imagine a society without a system of public administration.

Public Administration has emerged as the chief instrument of securing the people’s goods and services in accordance with the formulated policies of the government and through the utilization of the funds allocated by the legislature. It has the primary responsibility of helping the political executive with facts, figures, and an account of possible alternatives available in respect of various problems and issues. This information and data are absolutely essential and useful for the political executive as without it, the formulation of policies, plans, and decisions cannot be really and effectively undertaken and pursued.

Next to it, Public Administration has to deliver goods and services to the people in accordance with the approved and assigned policies, tasks, and goals of the government. In the process, Public Administration has to formulate, execute and enforce the rules and by-laws necessary for the implementation of the executive policies, plans, and decisions. It also has the responsibility to keep the political executive abreast of the changing socio-economic cultural needs and desires of the people. Without a well-organized, disciplined, and efficient system of Public Administration, no government, howsoever democratic, can deliver the intended goods and services to the people. It is only through the use of the machinery of administration that the government can hope to secure the defined goals.

The high importance of Public Administration can be analyzed by examining the following points:

(1) Importance of Public Administration as a Stabilizing Force in Society- Public administration is a great stabilizing force in society. It plays several different roles which help the society to maintain its values. The administrators are the stabilizers of society and the guardians of traditions. The government may change, and in a democratic system, it actually changes after regular intervals, but the administration continues to be much the same. It ensures continuity and stability in governmental policies and plans. Ramsay Muir rightly observes, “While the governments may come and go, ministers may rise and fall, the administration of the country goes on forever. No revolution can change it and no upheaval can uproot it.”

(2) Importance of Public Administration in Effectively Implementing the Socio-Economic Policies of the State- The aim of Public Administration is to develop the social and economic conditions of life of a common man as defined by public policies and laws. Planning is necessary for development and efficient administration is needed for successful planning. That is why meaningful production and desired social development depend upon an efficient administration. Public administration plays a vital role in the formulation and implementation of developmental plans, policies, and decisions.

(3) Public Administration is an Instrument of Social Change- The important changes that really take place in the modern welfare state are to a very large extent due to the role played by Public Administration. Public Administration acts as an agency of social change in so far as it acts as the main instrument for the formulation and implementation of desired decisions essential for securing the desired social goals. It acts as a public relations system and keeps the government informed of the changing social needs and desires. In fact, several scholars like Brook Adam, hold that “the chief function of administration should be to facilitate social change.”

(4) Public Administration as an Instrument for Resolving the Problems of Society- Public Administration has to do with getting things done and problems solved along with the accomplishment of defined objectives of the government. It is an instrument to solve the problems of society like, poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, communalism, and extremism. Acting under the direction, guidance, and control of the political executive of the state, Public Administration is always engaged in resolving public problems and issues. It also acts as a dispenser of socio-economic Justice in accordance with the settled laws and policies of the state.

(5) Public Administration as a Means to give Service and Protection- Public Administration is an important means to give service and protection to the common man.  Security, safety, and order are the important bases of modern civilization and to secure these is the important objective of Public Administration. Thus, it is a source of service to the people. It provides protection and relief to the people in the wake of social upheavals, epidemics, natural calamities, social disturbances, riots, violence, and economic hardships resulting from social evils, diseases, maladies, and economic problems.

(6) Public Administration as an Instrument of Social Harmony- Public Administration plays an important role in bringing social harmony to society. In every society, particularly in an ethnically plural society like the Indian society, there are several different types of classes, races, religions, castes, languages, and cultures in society. Public Administration has the responsibility of maintaining cordial relations among the different classes of people. It has to preserve, protect, and defend social harmony in hours of crisis. Public Administration has to maintain and provide a secure and healthy environment in which the different classes of people can have harmonious, peaceful, and cooperative interactions. In times of social stress and strain, tensions, or riots, it is the supreme responsibility of Public Administration to maintain law and order and restore confidence among all the communities and groups which live in the territory of the state.

These six key points highlight the important role played by Public Administration in this society. In fact, in times of both peace and war and social harmony and social tensions, Public Administration has to act as the chief instrument of law, order, security, safety, and well-being of the society as a whole. The present age has been an age of revolutions. Social life in this period of history and in all areas of the world has become highly complex, interdependent, and interacting. Industrialization, urbanization, information revolution, technological revolution, social revolution, and the communications revolution have together made life highly complex. In these circumstances, Public Administration has also undergone a revolutionary change in its nature and scope and its role in average society has increased. It has come to be the chief instrument of social security and development.

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