Dimensions of Public Administration in Nepal


Himalayan News Service

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If you want to grow as an efficient employee in any sector, you must acquire good managerial or administrative skills. Offering in-depth knowledge on these areas is the course Public Administration (PA). You will not only be able to stand as a competent employee, the graduates of PA will be able to understand the policies of the nation and work for the betterment of the country more efficiently.
Course development
Realising the need of educational specialisation for administrators, Tribhuvan University (TU) started PA course since 1960. Initially, there was a one-year diploma in PA — the course also imparted in-service training for the Second Class Gazetted Officers — under Centre for Economic Development and Administration (CEDA) of TU. 
However, it was only in 1976, that a college imparting courses only on PA — Public Administration Campus (PAC) — was established. This constituent campus of TU has been offering Masters in Public Administration since 1979. It is planning to launch Bachelors in Public Administration (BPA) from the fall of 2013.
The course was only limited to the government officers who needed to know about government policies and their implementation to advance their career, informs Prof Dr Tek Nath Dhakal, Chief of PAC. He added, “These officers would have already completed their Bachelor’s in various subjects. Therefore, there was no need of a BPA programme and we were running MPA course only.”
But the present scenario is different where individuals other than those working in government offices are eligible to study the course. Therefore, they have introduced the course in Bachelor’s level as well. And since 2011, the college has been running MPhil in Public Administration. 
Professional subject
Anyone wishing to function as effective managers in both governmental or non-governmental institutions, PA imparts them with conceptual and managerial knowledge. “It is a professional course designed to integrate theoretical foundations with practical skills directed toward defining and developing analytical, conceptual and practical competencies that can be directly utilised by public, non-profit and private sector professionals in their changing work environment,” explains Prof Dr Dhakal.
Meanwhile, you get to learn about Development Management, Human Resource Development, Local Governance and Development Management, Civil Society Governance and Public Policy, as per Prof Dr Dhakal in PA which makes it a multidisciplinary course. As such, those graduating in this course are able “to manage community and public resources as per the interest and welfare of public” reveals Prof Dr Sri Krishna Shrestha at PAC.
Who can study?
Though originally designed for government officers only, those with Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from TU or any other university recognised by TU can apply for MPA. However, they are entitled to take an entrance test before getting admission. 
As for those willing to pursue MPhil in PA, the students should have MPA degree. But those with Master’s in Business Studies, Economics, Political Science with specialisation in PA, Sociology, Anthropology, Journalism, Education Administration, Health Management from TU or any university recognised by TU with at least second division are also eligible. But they have to sit for an entrance test for admission. Also, proficiency in English language is a must — it is the language of instruction, examination, writing term papers and thesis. 
Career prospects
As it is a professional course, there are many advantages. 
Nabal Kishor Yadav, student of MPA Ist Year at PAC and working as a Senior Computer Operator at Lumbini Development Trust shares, “I have a goal to rise above the officer’s level — like secretary — and for this I need to understand more about bureaucracy which the MPA course offers.”
Similarly, for Dilip Raj Poudel, an MPhil IIIrd Semester student at PAC, “Working in the government sector and studying PA has helped me to have a better understanding of national policies. It definitely supports me in enhancing my career where I am looking forward to do a PhD in PA.” Poudel is an employee at Employees Provident Fund. 
Sudha Dahal, who works as Assistant at Nepal Electricity Authority and currently pursuing MPA IInd Year at PAC aspires to become a lecturer after graduating from it. She is hopeful that her MPA degree will help her as a lecturer while teaching Human Resources course in Commerce Stream. She adds, “Those who study PA have high chances to clear the exam taken by Public Service Commission as the subject is relevant to the questions asked during the exam.”
That is not all — as the course is multidimensional, the employment opportunities are also high, as per Prof Dr Dhakal who explains, “Whether it is the government or non-government sector, there is always a need for administrator and this creates a diverse scope for students where they can work in the managerial level.”
Currently, PAC is running its classes in a government building in Jamal. “We do not have our own permanent building which is one major problem we are facing,” complains Prof Dr Dhakal. Though a building is being constructed in Balkhu, even Prof Dr Dhakal does not know when the construction work will be completed. And this has added to “lack of proper physical infrastructure” as per Dahal who reveals, “We are facing problem during rainy season when water leaks in the classroom and we do not have proper toilet.”
Not to forget is the lack of budget for research and publications done by the campus “which creates hindrance for teaching with an updated course”, states Prof Dr Dhakal.
As most of the reference books are available only in English, “It is challenging for those who are not competent in English as we lack text books in Nepali,” Yadav adds.
Source: Himalayan times
This article was originally published in THT newspaper dated June 11