Development Administration: Meaning, Scope and Characteristics: For RAS/RTS Mains exam updated syllabus

Development is the end result of Public Administration. The paradigm of development is depending on the nature of government and its policies. It may be ideologically driven or ethically motivated. It strips off the orthodox structuralism of public administration as put forward by classical Administrative theorists and attempts to cater the emerging need of a given population upon which the process of administration is going to be taken place.

Development Administration is an intellectual enterprise with which defined goals of development can be achieved. Welfare of people, increase in per capita income, empowerment of the marginalised if any, long term projects like implementation of five year plans, strategies to ensure sustainable development, eradication of poverty and mitigation of commoners’ grievances.the list may not be completed and the projects and programmes of government or public authority unquestionably relates to the nature of their administration.

Development Administration as a theory and model is an article for developmental design of third world countries. Unlike the western developed nations third world countries resort a state or public purse centred approach for development initiatives. But we cannot give exclusiveness for development administration as a sole strategy adopted by the third world countries.

Various dimension of Development Administration are:-

  •  An economic component dealing with creation of wealth and improved conditions of material life, equitably distributed;
  • A social ingredient measured as well-being in health, education, housing and employment;
  •  A political dimension including such values as human rights, political freedom, enfranchisement, and some form of democracy;
  • A cultural dimension in recognition of the fact that cultures confer identity and self-worth to people;
  •  The full-life paradigm, which refers to meaning systems, symbols, and beliefs concerning the ultimate meaning of life and history; and
  • A commitment to ecologically sound and sustainable development so that the present generation does not undermine the position of future generations.

Development Administration has following objectives:

  • Application of innovative strategies for development
  • Emphasis on development at the grassroots level.
  • Development has to be a need-oriented and self-reliant process
  • Stress on social development and human capital as a major resource.
  •  Development has to be viewed not merely as a technological problem but also as an ideological norm.
  •  It gives birth to new administrative approaches like ecological studies in administration.
  • Profound and rapid change in order to establish a distinct and just social order.
  • Recognising and highlighting the unity, rather than dichotomy between politics and administration.
  • Effective and efficient use of scarce resources.
  • Creation of a politics-administrative environment which is oriented towards securing basic needs of the population

Scope of Development Administration is:-

  • Rural Development :-Rural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in relatively isolated and sparsely populated areas.
  • Urban Development :-Urban development is the social, cultural, economic and physical development of cities, as well as the underlying causes of these processes. Cities and their development is a central topic in human geography, and the study of cities makes up the sub-discipline of city geography or urbanism.
  • Community Development :-Community development is a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems. Community wellbeing (economic, social, environmental and cultural) often evolves from this type of collective action being taken at a grassroots level.
  • Special Area Development:-Special Area Programmes have been formulated to deal with the special problems faced by certain areas arising out of their distinct geo-physical structure and concomitant socio-economic development. Planning and Development of an area within the state is primarily the responsibility of the concerned State Governments. However, the Central Government is supplementing the efforts of the State Governments in this direction through Special Central Assistance under the programmes such as Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) and Western Ghats Development Programme (WGDP), North Eastern Council (NEC), Border Area Development Programme (BADP),Desert Develop-ment Programme (DDP) and Drought Prone Area Programme (DPAP).Funds under Special Area Programmes are meant to deal with the specific problems of these areas. Hence Special Plan strategies are formulated and schemes drawn up by the State Governments keeping in view the basic needs of the people and existing environmental considerations.

Characteristics of Development administrationare as follows:-

1. Change – oriented Development administration is change-oriented. Traditional administration was oriented towards the maintenance of stability and status quo. Hence, development Administration means ‘administration of planned change’. The Planned development is intended to achieve specific results within the specified time.

3. Goal-oriented and result-oriented It is result-oriented. It expects specific results and expresses in most areas clear-cut norms of performance. Consequently, it would also be judged on the basis of results achieved.

4. Citizen participation:-Development being a process of social and economic change, citizen participation in the task of administration is vital. The public servants must be able to carry the citizens with them and draw them actively into the developmental processes. It demands a basic change in the outlook of the civil servants.

4. Commitment to development. Development administration requires a firm commitment, a sense of involvement and concern on the part of civil servants, if the goals of development are to be realized.

5. Integrated and holistic process. Development administration is inter-related and holistic process of change. It refers to the structure, organisation and behaviour necessary for the implementation of schemes and programmes of socio-economic change undertaken by the governments of developing nations.”

6. It has two sides. Firstly, it refers to the administration of developmental programmes, the methods used by large-scale organizations, especially governments, to implement policies and plans designed to meet developmental goals. Secondly, Development Administration involves the strengthening of administrative capabilities. These two aspects are intertwined in development administration.

7. Its scope of operation is wide – Traditional public administration was limited to its function of maintaining law and order. But the scope of development administration is wider.

8. Stress on planning – It is planned change. The administrative capabilities are strengthened to achieve developmental goals. This objective is linked with planning. The planned development is intended to achieve specific results within the specified time.

9. Believes in decentralization -Traditional administration believes in centralization. But Development administration believes in decentralization.
10. Democratization of Administration:-Space for people’s involvement in the deceision making process is another feature of development administration. Citizen’s Charter, Grievances cells and roll of Grama Sabha etc.are examples for popular participation in decision making government in different levels.

11. Inclined to social needs.Government is always acting as pro-people machinery. Social change is the main aim of
governments which follows the path of development administration. Prompt delivery of services, emphasis on social security measures, affirmative approaches like reasonable classifications in society like BPL, SC or ST etc. can be pointed as the best examples for development administrative approaches of the governed.


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