SYNOPSIS: PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OPTIONAL – Paper 1- TLP UPSC Mains Answer Writing [28th August, 2020] – Day 18

  • IASbaba
  • August 31, 2020
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TLP Public Administration Optional
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1. “Train people well enough so that they can leave. Treat them well enough so that they don’t have to.” -Sir Richard Branson. Elaborate.

                                                                                                           15 marks (250 words)


Here we need to provide explanations for two things, one a qualitative training; two, the treatment of workers in the organization. A blend of theories and practical examples carries maximum marks.

From Paper 2

We can bring in good number of examples from the personnel management of the Indian Administrative system here.


Personnel management is very important for any organization to succeed. And as said by Lawerence Bossidy “at the end of the way we bet on the people, not strategies.” 

However, among various facets of personnel management, training and treatment of the workers are the points of emphasis here.


Firstly, training the human resource is very much essential; because as stated by Elbert Hubbard, “a machine can perform a work of 50 ordinary men, but no machine can perform the work of extraordinary men”. And, training is the one which imparts such extra-ordinary skills and capabilities to the workers.

Ex: Trained Indian Revenue and Accounts Service officers have a great demand in the corporate world. Hence, most of the IRA and IAAS officers even resign from the service to join the lucrative private jobs. Such is a kind of training provided to them. 

Secondly, training should be in such a way that, an employee trained in a company can be capable of working in any other companies with ease. Further, a worker trained in a company should be perfect in every theoretical and practical skill sets, required for a particular job. 

“A trained personnel can give life, even to a fatigue, mediocre and a dull organization” – Goldstein.

And a company should train the workers selflessly. It should not hold back any part of training even if it has a suspicion that the trainees are on their wings to move out of the organization ones they are trained completely.

Ex: Training in the Indian Military Academy is so perfect that, many countries like to get their personnel in the IMA. And IMA has trained many Afghanistan, Sri Lankan, South African and other military personal. Even the LTTE kingpin Mr. Prabhakaran was trained in IMA (but he was in the Sri Lankan Army by then).

However, when a trained employee gets demand in the market, there are more probabilities of him moving from one organization to other in search of better financial gains and opportunities.

And as said by Henry Ford “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is, not training them and having them stay.” Hence it is as important as training, to retain the employees once they are trained perfectly. 

An employer has to provide various facilities if he /she wants to retain a trained employee.

One, there should be proper payment of salaries and emoluments that match their skills, talents and work. This is akin to the economic inducements for a rational-economic worker.

Two, not all people get inspired to work by the material benefits, as Simon puts it “human beings depart in many ways from presumed and prescribed behavior”. Hence, an employer’s foremost duty is to track the needs and aspirations of the employees.

“In order to build a rewarding employee experience, you need to understand what matters most to your people.” 
-Julie Bevacqua

Three, some workers get inspired by the behaviors of their boss, i.e., how they are being treated by the superiors in the organization.

“Employees engage with employers and brands when they’re treated as humans.”
-Meghan Biro

Four, providing enough time for recreation and relaxation can also result in employees taking their work as a game of play. This can avoid employees from searching the entertainment and recreation outside the organization. [Elton Mayo’s experiments]                

“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.”
– John Cleese

Last, there should be enough opportunities for challenges, achievement, recognition and career-progression in the organization for the trained employees. And this is more important for the Abraham kind of employees (to bring in Douglas McGregor here).


Finally, a successful organization not only trains the employees well, but it also keeps them contented. In such an organization employees accept the goals of the organization as their personal goals [goal congruency], and their heads and hearts work in correlation for the betterment of the organization. 

“When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” – Betty Bender

2. How is functional classification different from positional classification? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.                 10 marks (150 words) 


A direct question, a good command on both the given concepts will make the maximum.

From Paper 2

Again examples from the Indian Administrative system are available in plenty; which can be brought in.


According to Prof. Milton M. Mandell, “classification is the grouping of positions on the basis of similarity of duties and qualification requirements.” There are several methods of classification of personnel Viz, Positional Classification, Rank Classification, Functional Classification, etc.


Positional classification is based on the position of an office in a hierarchy; such positions will be having a prescribed set of rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, span of control, challenges, etc. Several such similar positions in an organization form a class or a group.

Hence, in the positional classification; we have either groups – A, B, C, D… or classes – 1, 2, 3, 4… And here, people working in different departments can be grouped under single class if they have resembling powers and responsibilities. 

Ex: Various All India and Central Services i.e. IAS, IPS, and IRS till… Postal services come under group A or the class 1, and all of them have a same pay scale. 

However, a functional classification or a duty classification is based on the function one performs. I.e. along with the rights duties and powers; nature of job, technicalities involved, attendant risk, etc are taken into consideration. 

Here the difference is that no two persons from two different departments can be grouped under one class no matter how equal their powers and responsibilities may be. This, is because the duties and functions performed by them are different. 

Ex: A constable in the Civil Police Dept has completely different functions compared to a constable in Reserve Police Force, or one in the Armed Police Force. Thus, although both of them belong to Group D, they can’t get a same pay scale as per the functional classification.

Further, Positional classification is easier for fixation of pay scale, performance appraisal, promotion, etc. But, such a classification can prove unjust for the personnel working in risky and challenging jobs who work more but receive the salaries on par with other employees of their class. 

However, functional classification can be a solution such hiccups. 

Ex: Salary of an associate engineer in the technical group [in any software company] will be different from one working in the HR group, and salary of whom will again be different from one in the Presentation Team.

Also, functional classification is similar to the differential peace wage plan, and it is best suitable for matrix organizations wherein employees are measured from several perspectives. However, positional classification is more suitable for the government organization, particularly in the developed countries where the risk and challenges are equally distributed among various departments.


Lastly, we can sum up saying that Functional Classification is an upgraded version of Positional Classification.  And most of the organizations be it government, private, joint ventures etc, are opting for the functional classification nowadays. Several pay commissions in India have also spoken about it. 



Public Administration Synopsis Day 18 PDF

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