Public Administration has always implied Government when ‘public’ actually means community or people.
In the post-colonial, post-independence paradigm of the early 1950s, Public Administration really meant providing service to the people by the State apparatus using the ground rules of justice, ethics and fair-play.
This was the intention of the visionary Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru when he established the Indian Institute of Public Administration on March 29, 1954 based on the recommendations of a survey carried out in 1953 by Dean Paul H. Appleby, a Consultant with the Ford Foundation invited to advise on the subject, by the Government of India.
As the Institute’s first President for a decade, Prime Minister Nehru placed great emphasis on ‘de-colonialising’ the mind-set of administration, making it more people-oriented. And he placed a great responsibility on the IIPA to enhance the frontiers of knowledge in public policy and governance through applied research and education as well as training of administrators to serve the people of India.
Enhancing leadership and managerial qualities on the one hand and developing a service-orientation on the other are the thrust areas of the Institute’s education and training activities. Its faculty is involved with research work mainly to simplify procedures and suggest policy changes to ensure improved delivery of public services.
As India globalizes under growing media glare, her administration and governance have to change with the times and respond to the high expectations of a society where the demographic pre-ponderance of youth, the increasing struggles of urban and rural India, the development-sustainabilty conflict and the continuing problems of poverty related malnutrition together throw up challenges that require great resilience in administration and delivery.