If `human as a species are made to survive independently, then why administer them? What would be the need for public administration? Does the public need to be administered or the administers are needed for the sustenance of public and society, at large? It is merely about managing resources or it involves greater functioning of the system? These are the broader areas that we need to pounder upon when we talk of public administration.
In the Indian context, a society as vast and heterogeneous, equitable distribution of resources and services is the key to prosperity of all. It is very much like a human body, brain sends all the necessary signals to vital organs to function and survive, heart pumps fresh blood that is carried by arteries to the remotest corners of the body, every organ has a distinct function, and it needs proper nutrition for growth and sustenance. Public administration is the nerve center of any government which ensures that nothing goes wrong in the body, and if it does, timely intervention is done with due processes already in place.
Let us take this analogy to another level. What if the brain starts favouring one hand and ignoring the other, it will lead to paralysis of the left - out hand. This is where the principle of impartiality comes in administration. Each treated equally. Now consider the situation where there is wound in the body that requires healing but white blood cells refuse to go the extra mile, it might lead to infection. That is why the sense of duty and responsibility are paramount while being in administration. It would be the disaster for the body if brain or heart decides to take a weekly off or just feel tired and lazy to perform. Here is where efficiency, productivity, and time bound delivery matter in the system. And what if the hand picks, say Walnuts, from the plate just to please the brain and in return, the brain instruct the heart to pump in some more fresh blood exclusively to that particular hand. This is how corruption leads to an imbalance in the system.
Thus, impartiality, the highest sense of responsibility, efficiency, productivity and incorruptibility are a few traits of an able administrator. A selfless sense of service, to the nation and its people, has no other alternative for an able administrator.
In the Hindu language, the single letter that differentiate between 'Governance' and 'Administration 'is the prefix' 'pra' which makes the word 'shasan' and 'prashasan' respectively. Interestingly, the 'pra' prefix is generally used before a word to strengthen it further. And, administration is precisely aimed to strengthen governance and implement the polices made by the government effectively.
The famous Peter Parker line, with great power comes great responsibility, is often quoted and yet never seizes to lose relevance when it comes to describing positions of power and privileges.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.