1 Standards of Public Administration Education and Training in Select Countries in Asia The purpose of this paper is to discuss the standards of public administration education and training in select countries in Asia. The paper presents the backdrop of public administration education and training in Asia, outlines practices of public administration in these countries and accreditation profile of these countries and offers suggestions to lift accreditation standards and practices to the global standards to the appropriate institutions. Backdrop The state is in a flux due to economic and technological changes sweeping across the world that have altered the nature and functions of the state, wherein it has shed the role of a provider of goods and services and has donned the role of a facilitator. Economic integration, particularly after the onset of globalization, has altered the nature and functions of the state in two fundamental ways. First, the State is being integrated more and more with supra-national organizations for the formulation of policies. Second, the State is delegating and decentralizing more and more powers to the local level bodies. This apart, the technological changes, particularly the Internet and its tools have facilitated the exchange of information and ideas in a speedy manner among different people and different places. All such changes necessitated an active and knowledgeable public bureaucracy, which hitherto turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to such economic and technological changes. In fact, it has become a necessity for the public servants to imbibe and learn leadership skills, strategic planning skills, effective decision making capacities, professionalism, and integrate technology towards enhancing the effectiveness of delivering goods and services to the clientele. Dwight Waldo was right when he predicted that public administration will be dealing with new forms of organization and management and shouldering new responsibilities, wherein the bureaucracy will be less bureaucratic, increasingly mixed public-private nature and more international/multi-national in operations. Accordingly, he envisaged a new role for public administrators wherein the decisions of public administrators will be a combination of policy judgments, instrumental judgments, legal judgments and moral judgments. Owen E. Hughes too expressed opinion on similar lines who says that reforms have taken place in areas of recruitment, promotions, policy making, financial management, relations with outside groups and all kinds of other procedures. One finds the metamorphosis of state and role of public administrators on similar lines as envisaged by the Waldo with the onset of supra-national organizations and virtual world and accordingly, the public administrators are exposed to new set of challenges. Prof R K Mishra, Director, Institute of Public Enterprise, O U Campus, Hyderabad, India,
2 Need for reinventing public administration education and training The metamorphosis State, unheard in the past, has not only exposed the public servants to more public glare but also competition from private agencies as well. The monopoly hitherto enjoyed by public servants has made citizens to receive whatever qualitative goods and services delivered by the former. However, in the era of globalization and technologization, the citizens in the capacity of clients to the services provided by the state and public bureaucracy have been expecting more and more, particularly after private sector started attracting customers for satisfactory delivery of services. The state had no alternative except to adopt certain Customer Relation Management, (CRM) methods and techniques for providing qualitative services. Public agencies have been even adopting private practices for ensuring that they serve the customers in a better manner by providing superior services as compared to their counterparts in the private sector. In fact, some public agencies have been applying web based technologies to disseminate more and more information for inching closer to citizens with a view to provide better services to citizens in the capacity of customers and establish long term relationships. As the effectiveness of the delivery of services by public agencies depends to a large extent on the caliber and competence of individuals manning public bureaucracy, it becomes an immediate objective and goal for every government to ensure that its public servants are educated and trained properly and adequately to meet the challenges posed by globalization and supra-national organizations on one hand and web technologies on the other. Such an objective can be achieved if the standards and quality of higher education system, particularly public administration education and training are enhanced by adopting innovative methods. One such method could be revising the curriculum of public administration in universities from time to time to meet the needs of the governance institutions of the country, enhancing the quality of faculty of public administration, consistent and continuous research in the areas pertaining to governance, adoption of latest and new techniques and methods of teaching of public administration, etc. In the same manner, the training institutions, which normally provide various types of training to public servantsinduction training, post-entry training, mid career training, etc, belonging to different services, need to reinvent themselves in such a manner that they train the public servants not only to function effectively but also deliver the goods and services to citizens effectively as well. However, the standards and quality of public administration education and training is not in consolance with the pace of globalization and technological changes, particularly the web technologies. It is true that public administration education and training is being made more and more application oriented, one finds the existence of certain gray areas, which need to be filled in so as to enhance the quality and standards of public administration education and training. Hence, it becomes incumbent not only on the universities and training institutions to enhance their quality and standards but define
3 and implement those methods which sustain their excellence in the field and one such method is accreditation of their courses and institutions. One important method of achieving quality and standards of excellence in public administration education and training is through accreditation of the programs delivered by universities and training institutions. Before going into accreditation methods being practiced world wide, it is necessary to have a brief snapshot of the genesis public administration as a discipline and the efforts to enhance the quality and standards of public administration. Genesis of study and practice of public administration Public administration as an institution for regulating the societal and economic affairs of the state has been existing since hoary past and has proved to be a good tool for the rulers to govern the state in the most effective and efficient manner. In fact, Woodrow Wilson in his paper, The Study of Administration has brought out the significance of public administration by stating that Administration is the most obvious part of government; it is government in action; it is the executive, the operative, the most visible side of government, and is of course as old as government itself. In those regions where civilizations first emerged and kingdoms were set up by the rulers, the rulers relied on public administration as a tool to govern the state with least irritating means and was reformed with the passage of time under able rulers so as to perfect the system at least in the areas of revenue, military, finance, etc. Public administration as a discipline has been in existence since ancient times in early civilized countries like India, where Kautilya wrote extensively on the statecraft which remains unparalleled in the history of ancient India. Of course, it was never taught like other arts like painting, music, etc, which could have strengthened the art of governing among the rulers. During the medieval ages, the study of state craft was emphasized by Niccolo Machiavelli in his The Prince which gave a detailed description of ensuring stability of the state through different methods, which included even shady methods, as he lived in an era of political chaos. Unfortunately, even then little efforts were made to study of public administration as more and more philosophers and political thinkers were involved in writing about the nature of the state and sovereignty, with little time left for studying the administrative system. The article by Woodrow Wilson, The Study of Administration, heralded a new era in the study and practice of public administration, where the scholars and practitioners of public administration started focusing more on developing, enlarging and refining the theories and practices of public administration which could be applied in governing the state. Efforts were afoot among the scholars of public administration to get a respectable status for public administration in the galaxy of social sciences. The establishment of International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) in the year 1930 for the promotion of development of the administrative sciences is a landmark event in the evolution of public administration which acted as a forum for the exchange of ideas of public administration theory and practice. In the year 1970, the National Association of
4 Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) was founded for the promotion of excellence in education and training for public service by developing appropriate standards for educational programs through its Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, apart from other activities which raise the standards in public administration education and training. Public administration was recognized as an important tool for accomplishing the developmental goals for ameliorating the living conditions of the poor and downtrodden in countries like India. Hence, on the recommendations of Paul Appleby, the Government of India established the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) in the year 1954 as a premier institute and a nodal agency for the promotion of public administration education and training. The main objective of the IIPA was to promote the study of public administration so as to strengthen policy making and improve service delivery. It never considered Accreditation an important element of public administration education and training. Global efforts towards excellence in public administration: Efforts towards raising the bar for improving the standards and quality in public administration programs both at theoretical and practical levels are already at a steady pace. The accreditation institutions located in different parts of the world are attempting to enhance the overall standards and quality in the discipline of public administration, which is commendable. NASPAA acts as a nodal agency for the accreditation of public administration Professional Masters Degree Programs in Public Affairs, Policy and Administration through the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA). In the first stage, a self-study report is submitted by the agency which applies for accreditation which is reviewed by the Commission. The commission seeks further clarifications if it is not satisfied with certain inputs provided by the institution/agency seeking accreditation. Thereafter a site visit team is appointed by the Commission and based on the findings of the team and its own analysis; the Commission either accredits, delays accreditation or denies accreditation. In Europe, the European Association for Public Administration accreditation (EAPAA) is the nodal agency for providing accreditation for academic public administration degree programmes. Although there are no specific agencies for accreditation of public administration programs in other countries, one can find such agencies in the area of higher education and the matters pertaining to higher education. In South Africa, institutional audit conducted by the institution itself is followed by the external evaluation by the Higher Education Quality Committee on various factors like teaching & learning, organizational setting, resources, student recruitment, learning programmes, research, etc. In Australia, the universities are allowed to self-accredit their own courses and are responsible for their academic standards. The study and practice of public administration in Asia The institutions of public administration in Asian countries are implanted by their colonial masters and although they still retain the colonial tinge even today, they could
5 not remain immune from the immediate socio-economic environment in which they were working. The countries selected for the present study were under the yoke of British colonialism and were heavily influenced by the colonial administrative systems implanted by the colonial rulers, with some minor differences. The South Asian Region exhibits certain homogeneous as well as heterogeneous characteristic features which make comparative study more meaningful as similarities can be compared and diversities can be analyzed in the given socio-economic and cultural environment. Added to it, the South Asia has been fortunate to have certain similar set of institutions like the administrative system which has been established by the colonial regime and is found to be working well even after the colonial rulers have departed. Countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh shared the same elite service, the Indian Civil Service, among them, and all the countries have continued the service, albeit under different name. Hence, public administration education and training is a good point for comparison among these countries. The institution of public administration is so entrenched and assimilated in these countries that there seems to be no other alternative to the existing administrative systems and practices. This is indication of the sustainability of the administrative institutions over a period of long time, irrespective of the political chaos and unrest. The institution of public administration has been performing exceptionally well as agents of change for the past few decades and contributed in the overall development of the people, although still there are some gray areas to be done. However, economic and technological changes have compelled the state and its institutions to undergo metamorphosis, including public administration. Public administration has shed the role of a regulator and provider and has donned the role of facilitator and more recently that of a regulator and correspondingly, the role and functions of the individuals wielding bureaucratic power and authority has also changed under the impact of globalization. Bureaucrats are more under compulsion to enhance their knowledge base and skill to become more effective at workplace. For example, bureaucrats are exhibiting more and more curiosity in making themselves aware of Corporate Governance, Reinventing Government, Intellectual Property Laws, World Trade Organization, Business Communication, Value Based Management, Conflict Resolution, Government & Business, Environmental Management, Entrepreneurship Development, Business Innovation, Ethics in Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility, Participatory Development, Gender Studies, Sustainable Development, Disaster Management, Human Rights, Cyber Laws, etc. Of late, the training institutions and higher learning institutions have been gearing themselves to meet the expectations of bureaucrats and also aspiring students who want to enter into public bureaucracy. For example, the Indian Institute of Public Administration has a paper on Consumer Protection Law and Practice as a part of its Advanced Professional Programme in Public Administration; the Sri Lank Institute of Development Administration offers a course on Productivity and Quality. In the 11 th Civil Service Conference held under the auspices of National Institute of Public
6 Administration the issue of repositioning public service in the era of globalization was discussed upon wherein it was emphasized that bureaucracy should learn Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Strategic and Comprehensive Development Approach, Execution Through Partnership, etc. Public administration education and training has gone beyond district administration and local self government to understanding stock market operations, raising monies from the external commercial bodies, floating global depository receipts and American depository receipts. Hence, in can be inferred that the training institutions too are realizing that they should revise their curriculum and approach to meet the global standards of public administration training to be on the map of globalization. In the same manner, many universities are opting for new courses like e- governance, Environmental Dimensions, Gender and Development, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc, all of which point to the fact that the seats of higher learning have also geared themselves for change and improving their delivery. Pakistan Public administration in Pakistan is a colonial legacy when the British created an elite civil service called Indian civil service and most of the ICS officers were British. Recruitment to the Pakistan Civil Service is the responsibility of the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) based on merit. The FPSC in coordination with the Pakistan Administrative Staff College conducts training courses for the civil servants with a view to develop champions of change and reform to meet the challenge of globalization. After the partition of India and Pakistan, the ICS was renamed as Central Superior Services. A Common Training Programme or CTP was introduced after the initiation of 1973 civil service reforms. It was mandatory for the individuals manning higher civil to undergo training at Civil Services Academy (CSA) located in Lahore. Once the training programme is completed at CSA, the probationers undergo specialized training in professional training agencies. The Civil Services Academy (CSA) was established in the year The objective was to train the newly recruited probationers of Pakistan Administrative Services. The Academy was originally called Pakistan Administrative Services Academy. In the year 1973, a Common Training Program (CTP) was decided for the new entrants into various Central Superior Services. The Academy is an autonomous body and its administration is looked after by a senior bureaucrat. To enhance the quality of training for the civil servants, the government has come out with the idea of a National School of Public Policy (NSPP) to evolve a comprehensive training system which would ensure that the civil servants keep pace with global changes. Some of the objectives of the School are to improve the existing infrastructure, upgrade the skills of the civil servants, design and organize training courses, undertake research and consultancy, etc. Under the umbrella of NSPP, one
7 finds different training institutions which provide training to civil servants at various levels. With regard to public administration education in universities in Pakistan, it can be stated that there are certain universities which offer UG and PG programmes for the students. There are separate departments for the discipline of public administration like the University of Sindh and the University of Balochistan. However, such a trend is not universal as most of the universities have made public administration as a minor discipline under the department of political science. The University of Punjab, the University of Sarogdha, the University of Bahauddin Zakaria, etc, have departments of political science and one of the courses is public administration. Even in public administration they are offering only two, Public Administration: Theory and Practices and Local Government. However, the University of Quaid-i-Azam is offering a full fledged course on Master of Public Administration. As public administration is taught as a minor subject, most of the faculty is from political science and related disciplines. Accreditation of public administration education and training has received generic appreciation. No formal and time tested methodology has been developed to assess the efficacy and effectiveness of public administration education and training. Bangladesh Recruitment to civil service in Bangladesh follows the closed entry model in which the officer are recruited at entry level and promoted both on the basis of merit and seniority. Training has been given due importance in Bangladesh as one finds different sets of training institutes for different level of civil servants. The Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Academy was established in the year 1987 to train the Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Cadre to staff the top administrative positions in the country. The officers of the cadre play an important role in both policy formulation and policy implementation in areas like criminal justice, land administration, election administration, etc; hence, the government felt it necessary that training is one of the critical inputs for enhancing their effectiveness. Accordingly, the government of Bangladesh set up the Academy with an avowed objective of providing training for the officers of Administration Cadre only. The objectives of the training provided by the Academy are to impart analytical and practical training, ensure exchange of ideas, produce committed officers, etc. Most of the training programmes of the Academy are general in nature and aim to enhance the overall effectiveness of the officers. The training methodology includes, case study, group discussion, syndicate exercise and role play are used in training activities. At the same time, the Academy is involved in research and consultancy activities, wherein efforts are made to upgrade training course from time to time to make it more suitable to the changing needs and demands of the officers. To cater to the needs of other officers who do not form a part of Bangladesh Civil Service Administration Cadre, the Government of Bangladesh established Bangladesh
8 Public Administration Training Centre by merging Bangladesh Administrative Staff College, National Institute of Public Administration, Civil Officers Training Academy and Staff Training Institute. The Centre provides foundational course for the new entrants of Bangladesh civil service with a view to make them aware of the policies of the government. The Centre is also involved in research and consultancy activities. With regard to public administration education in Bangladesh, it can be said that the University of Dhaka has a full fledged department of public administration. Similarly, the University of Rajshahi and the University of Chittagong too have separate departments of public administration for imparting public administration education to students at university level. At the other extreme lies the Government Saadat College University which has a department of political science, where there is no much public administration. In the middle lies the Jahangirnagar University, where there is department of government and politics. Like Pakistan, accreditation of public administration education and training has not received any formal attention. Malaysia The elite civil service in Malaysia has evolved from the colonial legacy as in other Asian countries and the government did not change the institutional set up and socially too, the higher civil service held its prestige intact. In the early 60s, efforts were made towards Malaysianization of the civil service which succeeded to a large extent. Selection to the civil service is from the university graduates by an independent Public Service Commission. The Public Service Department of Malaysia is the nodal agency dealing with personnel matters and the Public Service Commission is responsible for recruitment of personnel to various positions. The Public Service Commission is an independent body which has the responsibility for attracting and retaining high persons of high caliber to staff the public agencies. Once the process of selection is complete, the National Institute of Public Administration trains them in various processes of governance. The National Institute of Public Administration (INTAN) is the training wing of the government of Malaysia responsible for training officers on land administration, financial administration, office management and local government administration. The government realized the importance of training the officials in the year 1972 which led to the establishment of INTAN and the importance of training courses led INTAN to establishment of several branch campuses in different parts of the country. The major areas of training conducted by INTAN are as follows: Financial Management; Human Resource Development; Information Technology; Economic Development; Leadership; Language and Communication; Quality; etc.
9 The INTAN has good facilities including Auditorium, Multipurpose Hall, Lecture Hall, Lecture Room, Syndicate Room, Seminar Room, Meeting Room, VIP Room, Resting Room, etc. The performance of INTAN like IIPA in India has been intensively studied from time to time but its programmes have not undergone any accreditation thus far Sri Lanka Sri Lanka has a civil service law that reflects its colonial past, and the structure created by this law is typical of the British civil service as it evolved over time. The Sri Lankan Institute of Development Administration established in the year 1982 and the Public Service Training Institute (SLIDA) in the year 1991 provides training to civil servants. Added to it, every ministry has a training unit for enhancing the competencies and skills for training civil servants in specific areas of their functioning. The objective of SLIDA is to facilitate the development of an efficient, effective and forward-looking public service through the provision of training, consultancy and research and it has succeeded to a large extent towards the accomplishment of the objectives. It provides training in the areas of development management, financial management, human resource management, information technology, management studies, public administration and local government, productivity and quality, etc. The Public Service Training Institute provides training to all non-staff grade public servants so as to enable them to perform their functions effectively and effectively. With regard to public administration education at university level, the University of Peradeniya has a department of political science which offers public administration as a paper. It is the same case with the University of Colombo which too has a department of political science and offers public policy as a minor discipline. With regard to the University of Sri Jayewardenepura one finds the existence of a full fledged Department of Public Management providing public administration education in Sri Lanka. Accreditation is a missing factor in public administration education and training in Sri Lanka. India Modern civil service in India was established by British to perform functions like revenue collection, maintenance of order, etc, which were hitherto performed by native rulers. After the liquidation of the Company s rule in the year 1858, the British Crown passed a series of laws whereby it took the control of Indian affairs into its hands. Simultaneously, the administrative system also grew and was manned by the personnel with little or no experience in India. Such personnel limited their activities only at higher levels and most of the functions at lower levels were carried out by the natives. However, with the pressure increasing from the national movement, deliberate attempts were made by the government to accommodate and associate the Indians in civil service, which provided a good training ground of the natives in the nitty-gritty s of modern public
10 administration. Even after independence, the administrative system remained intact and survived the efforts to prune drastically and it can be seen that most of the administrative practices and process even today are those which have been inherited from the colonial regime. Nevertheless, rigorous attempts to Public administration training for higher civil services in India started in India when the East India Company set up a college at Fort Williams at Calcutta ( ). However, the real impetus for public administration education and training came after the submission of Paul Appleby Report in the year 1953, when the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) was established in the year The objective of establishing IIPA was to train the civil servants in the details of practical part of public administration. The faculty of IIPA imparts training to civil servants in the areas of Justice and Administration, Economic Policy, Disaster Management and Environment, Economic Administration, Organisation and Behavioral Sciences, Public Administration, Policy Sciences, Operations Research, Foreign Trade and Commerce, Urban Management, etc. Besides, the institute has different centres in the areas of Finance, HRM, Public Enterprises, Urban Studies, Social Welfare Administration, etc, which specialized training in those areas to the civil servants. Added to it, other institutions which are into training of the civil servants on various facets of public administration are Administrative Staff College of India, Institute of Secretariat Training and Management, Lal Bahadur Shastry National Academy of Administration, etc. Besides, there are other numerous institutes which cater to divergent needs of the civil servants at various levels in different areas of specialization. For example, there a national police academy to train the police officer, which is called the Sardar Vallabhai National Police Academy. Besides, training institutions have been established by various state governments to impart training to the civil servants belonging to state civil services. Some of the training institutions which provide training to civil servants belonging to state civil services are given below. S No Name of the training institution Name of the state 1. HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration, Jaipur Rajsthan 2. Yashwantaro Chavan Academy of Development Administration Maharashtra (YASHADA), Pune 3. RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration, Bhopal Madhya Pradesh 4. Assam Administrative Staff College, Assam Assam 5. Uttaranchal Academy of Administration Uttaranchal 6. Himachal Pradesh Institute of Public Administration Himachal Pradesh 7. Dr Marri Chenna Reddy Human Resource Development Institute Andhra Pradesh 8. Shri Krishna Institute of Public Administration Jharkhand The training institutions at state level have excellent infrastructural facilities and can provide residential programmes for civil servants. For example, Dr.Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute of Andhra Pradesh has 13 lecture halls, 3 computer labs, 3 conference halls, a large auditorium which can accommodate around
11 250 persons, a library which has a collection of 10,000 books, hostel facility, etc. With regard to training, there are different specialized training centres which act as repositories of knowledge. They are Centre for Agriculture and Rural Livelihood, Centre for Infrastructure and Investment, Centre for Disaster Preparedness, Centre for Human Development, Centre for Regulatory Administration and Centre for Urban Development studies. In the same manner, the HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration is also equipped with good facilities for providing training and has specialized in different areas of training like laws and revenue administration, financial administration in government, public systems management, Management and Organizational Behaviour, Development administration, Urban development and urban services management, Gender issues, Natural disaster management, Information Technology and E- Governance, etc. Public Administration in Universities: Public administration education was started in India towards the late 1940s when the University of Madras started a Diploma Course in Public administration and the University of Allahabad started a diploma course in Local self-government. The University of Nagpur started a two year programme in public administration in the year In the year 1955, the University of Nagpur set up a separate Department of Public Administration and the suit was followed by other universities like the University of Rajasthan, Osmania University, Punjab University, South Gujarat University, etc. Even then it can be stated that some universities were teaching public administration as a part of political science and such a trend is visible in Central Universities where public administration is a part of the department of political science. Public administration education got boost with the establishment of Indian Institute of Public Administration in the year 1954 which to act as a forum for the exchange of experience among practitioners and teachers of Public Administration. To enhance such an exchange among civil servants and private sector managers, the Administrative Staff College of India was established in the year Public Administration is organized at the post-graduate level as a part of instructions given in the Political Science Departments in some Universities. 56 Universities teach Public Administration at the Master s level in Political Science courses. Of these, 47 Universities have Public Administration being taught as a compulsory/elective course. 8 Universities teach Public Administration as a compulsory subject, and 9 Universities provide Public Administration as an elective in the course. It is also interesting to note that most of the Universities provide only one course in the compulsory stream at the MA Political Science level in Public Administration. This course mostly deals with the principles of Public Administration. However, there are Universities which provide more than one paper in the compulsory stream. The University of Madras has two compulsory courses, namely, Principles of Public Administration and Modern Government. It is equally interesting to see that there are some Universities which do not have a compulsory paper in their scheme of teaching Political Science. Among these are the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Madurai Kamaraj University, and the University of Mysore. Some of the Universities which have fullfledged courses in Public Administration at the post-graduate level, however, organize teaching again in two streams. Some papers have been labeled as compulsory papers,
12 whereas the students have the freedom to select optional papers from the various groups. Mostly the course study is restricted to eight papers and the viva-voce examination. The students are given the freedom to opt for undertaking a project work in lieu of one optional paper. The students are given the freedom to take one of the two groups as electives. Group I includes Studies on Rural Government and Administration. Group II contains elective on Planning. Administration and Public, and Rural Development Administration. The students have to take one paper from the course on Research Methodology, Political Sociology, Politics and Development in India, and Development Administration. In similar fashion, at the Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupathi, four courses are taught in MA (Previous) in the nature of compulsory papers. These include Comparative and Development Administration, Comparative Political Systems, Administrative Theories, and Local Government in UK, USA and France. In MA (Final), the courses taught include Local Government in South Asia, Financial Administration in India and Policy Studies. There is an option offered to the students between Urban Local Government in Andhra Pradesh or Panchayati Raj in Andhra Pradesh. A suggestion has been made that the Public Administration education at the post-graduate level should be organized in the form of core courses and optional papers. The core courses could include Administrative Theory including State Theories, Administrative System of India, Public Personnel Administration, Comparative Public Administration, Public Policy Analysis, and Research Methodology. The optional papers could include Indian Constitution, Bureaucracy: Theories, Functions and Role, Administrative Thought, Rural and Agricultural Development Administration including Irrigation, Health, Labour and Social Welfare Administration, Educational Administration, Financial Administration, State Administration, Rural and Urban Local Administration, Development Administration, Crisis and Emergency Administration, Organization of the Public Sector, Sociology of Administration, and Politics and Administration. To strengthen the quality of research at the post-graduate level, the M. Phil teaching started in Public Administration in the 1970s. 9 Universities provided for Public Administration teaching in their M. Phil Political Science Programmes.The MS University of Baroda has three papers in their M.phil programme in the elective group, which includes Public Administration and Social Change, Development Administration, and Issues in Local Government. Dibrugarh University follows the same approach, but their courses include three papers on Social Administration in India, Management of Public Enterprises in India, and Rural Development in India. The Jawaharlal Nehru University provides two papers in the elective stream, namely, Bureaucracy: Its Institution, Function and Changing Roles, sand Leadership: Problems of Recruitment, Socialization, Role and Function. The Marathwada University provides in its elective a course entitled Recent Advances in Public Administration. All these institutions exercise a quality check far and few between and more in the nature of review than an ongoing exercise with the purpose of brining about a continuous improvement.
13 Accreditation in Asian countries The 21 st century belong to Asia. This widens and deepens the role of public administration education and training in India. Public administration has to have a fusion with science, technology and social sciences. Standards in any area can be enhanced with the help of accreditation, where in certain parameters are taken into consideration and rating is given by an independent agency. Public administration education and training are not an exception where in evaluation of the existing practices not only enables to peel off the obsolete content and practices but also gets in tune with the latest developments in the field of public administration. In fact, accreditation is a method of understanding the current trends and practices which can be applied directly for enhancing the quality of education. Accreditation is a good approach for enhancing the quality and standards of public administration education and training in the era of globalization and technologization, where public servants are exposed to new frontiers of knowledge and activities, which hitherto were even unheard. For example, public servants are involved in protecting the patent rights of MNCs, adopting management tools and techniques from private organizations (Total Quality Management, Business Process Re-engineering, etc), getting the work done through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), receiving applications/complaints from citizens through Internet/call centres, video-conferencing with colleagues and superiors, etc. All such changes have created the necessity for public servants to learn for the improvement of their productivity, which in turn has created the conditions for enhancement of the quality and standards of public administration and training to public servants so that they are effective and efficient at work place and also deliver the goods and services to the point of citizens satisfaction. Accreditation enhances the quality and standards of public administration education and training as stringent norms are to be adopted by the universities and training institutions from time to time and also update their curriculum to meet the growing demands of the students and practitioners of public administration. Such activities keep the seats of learning and training on toes and create conducive environment for excellence in public administration education and training. At the same time, accreditation also necessitates regular changes in the content and pedagogy which makes the public servants, particularly through training programs conducted by training institutions more adept in meeting the challenges posed by fast changing global business and economy; exploring new ways of performing work, working with private entrepreneurs, promoting citizen-centric public systems, enhancing professionalism at work place and achieving strategic specialization. The Asian countries need to enhance their professional knowledge as well as their delivery capacity to ensure that the public servants are geared to meet the challenges of globalization and technologization. The state being pulled in two opposite directions, supra-national bodies and local level bodies, has posed a unique challenge and opportunity to public servants to not only tune themselves but also serve citizens better by adopting technologization as a tool for delivering goods and services to citizens.
14 However, it is incumbent for the universities and training institutions to upgrade their standards and quality not only in content of the courses but also linking them to the realities of public administration. Such an enhancement of public administration education and training is possible if and only if they set tough standards and constant strive towards excellence in the imparting qualitative education and training. In line with such a philosophy and based on the recommendations of the National Policy in Education 1986 which emphasized on mandatory periodic evaluation by a duly constituted Accreditation Board, the University Grants Commission in India has set up National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) in the year 1994 to assess to assess and accredit institutions of higher education in India. One of the main objectives of the NAAC is to enhance the quality of higher education through different methods where in periodic assessments are carried out, self-evaluation is encouraged, research and consultancy is encouraged, etc. The process of accreditation of NAAC is in line with other accreditation bodies like National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Public Administration and European Association for Public Administration Accreditation, wherein the process begins by a self evaluation report followed by a site visit team. The team in turn submits its report to the Review Committee which grades and gives accreditation to the courses offered by the universities, provided they meet the criteria specified by the NAAC. The team provides an option to the host institution from the process of accreditation at a certain point, if it feels that the exercise is not going to the beneficial to it. Similarly, the Government of Pakistan has set up Higher Education Commission (HEC) to enhance the quality of higher education and build a knowledge-based economy. The HEC has been making consistent efforts towards enhancing higher education and some of the points being emphasized by it include quality of faculty and students, infrastructure facilities, research and learning environment, assessment procedures, etc. The HEC has proposed to establish Quality Enhancement Cells in ten universities and they are the University of Karachi, Liaqat University of Medial & Health Sciences, University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, University of Agriculture, University of the Punjab, University of Engineering & Technology, University of Peshawar, University of Baluchistan, Quaid-e-Azam University and National University of Science & Technology. The Malaysian government too has taken steps to ensure that the higher education has not only quantitative dimension but also qualitative dimension. Accordingly, the government approved the establishment of the National Accreditation Board (LAN) with an avowed objective of enhancing the quality of education. The Malaysian government expects the LAN to become a centre for certifying and accrediting the courses offered by the educational institutions. Sri Lanka too has a Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council (QAAC) for enhancing quality and standards in higher education through continuous development and efficient performance higher education institutions and public administration is one of the
15 disciplines which is subjected to review by the QAAC. It is heartening to see that a country like Sri Lanka has included public administration in the list of disciplines to be reviewed by the QAAC. Such efforts not only enhance the quality and standards of public administration but also image of the discipline. All such efforts towards accreditation of higher education are indeed good as universities not only strive to excel but also continuously improve their quality of education. However, the policy of accreditation is mostly related to the universities in general rather than to specific disciplines as in the case of Europe and North America, where the courses in public administration and affairs are recognized by the accrediting agencies. In spite of that it can be stated that the existing of accrediting agencies in Asian countries is itself a significant accomplishment for those countries. Concluding observations Public administration education and training is one of the critical areas, wherein the seats of higher learning i.e., universities and training institutions play an important role in teaching not only in structural and procedural aspects of public administration but also inculcating various value dimensions of the functioning of the state. The effectiveness of such activities can be enhanced if a concerted effort is made by the countries sharing similar background with regard to public administration. Fortunately, the administrative system itself bequeathed by the colonial regime shares numerous characteristic features in countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Malaysia. The countries have exhibited tilt towards the elite generalist civil service, the personnel of which staff the higher echelons of public administration and also play a critical role in the process of policy formulation and implementation. The pattern of examination for the recruitment of public servants is also similar where the candidates intending to enter into public bureaucracy after they complete their graduation and such an examination is conducted by an independent recruitment agency. Last but not the least, the institution of public administration is a legacy of the colonial rule, hence a cooperative action aimed at enhancing the quality and standards of theory (university level education which prepares students for the entry into public services) and practice (training institutions level which impart training to public servants once they are selected through competitive examination) of public administration is possible if a joint action is launched. However, such similarities are cosmetic as one finds much deeper divergences in the social, economic and religious conditions, which impact theory and practice of public administration both in universities and training institutions. Nevertheless, such divergences need not act as a stumbling block in striving towards the enhancement of quality and standardization of public administration education and training through accreditation by a regional apex body. Instead of having different accreditation bodies for different areas, like NAAC in India, QAAC in Sri Lanka, a regional Accreditation Council would be appropriate for enhancing the quality and standards of public administration education and training, which facilitates raising the standards of public
16 administration education and training at country level and thereby ensure efficient delivery of goods and services to citizens but also provide good opportunity to make a comparative analysis at regional level and global level, which is the need of the hour in the era of globalization, where supra-national organizations are the order of day. This, however, does not undermine the need for full fledged accreditation bodies in the various countries in Asia to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of public administration education and training. Such an initiative will help in bridging the gap between theory and practice and also between supply and demand enhancing thereby the societal impact and appreciation. The accreditation criteria should provide due weightage to research element in the entire process and not veer round teaching and examinations, alone. Furthermore, the accreditation process need to lift itself to the global standards as evolved by the internationally acclaimed organizations. Reference: 1. A. Awasthi & A.P.Awasthi, Indian Administration, Lakshmi Narain Agarwal, Agra, Brian R. Fry, Mastering Public Administration: From Max Weber to Dwight Waldo, Chatham House Publishers, New Jersey, Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Marcel Dekker, New York, Globalization And The State, World Public Sector Report 2001, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. 5. Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor and Renu Khator (Ed), Public Administration in the Global Village, Praeger, London, Mohit Bhattacharya, Restructuring Public Administration: Essays in Rehabilitation, Jawhar Publishers, New Delhi, Unlocking Human Potential for Public Sector Performance, World Public Sector Report 2005, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. Websites: