Kautilya’s Arthasastra and Ain-i-Akbari are some such works which throw light on the administrative set-up of Chandra Gupta Maurya and Akbar respectively. Moreover it is now being realised that since experimental method cannot be successfully applied to public administration, historical method can be more useful and appropriate.
A public administrator now carefully studies history and takes its lessons for future guidance. Biographical studies are now evoking great interest and events recorded by the biographers are nothing but facts of history with their own recorded actions, reactions and opinions.
Similarly we find that nothing and opinions recorded on the files which have become historical documents, are always considered of considerable use by the public administrators.
Not only this but they also find that each administrator must study carefully the growth and development of all institutions and organizations and in the process history alone can help him. In fact history provides roots as well as basic facts for a public administrator of today.
In spite of this close relationship, there is vast different between the two. There is much which is unwanted in the public administration from the view point of historian and vice- versa is equally true.
Public Administration is least concerned with the history of wars and dynasties. It has nothing to do with the history of music and other fine arts. On the other hand it is concerned with social, economic and political life of the country, and every other material supplied by history to public administrator is practically of no use.
Moreover history is concerned with the past. It has nothing to do with the present or the future. In so far as public administration is concerned it is more concerned with the present and the future and uses past only as a lesson for the benefit of the present.
The quest of history is vast as compared with public administration because the former covers much beyond the latter. But in spite of this it is undoubtedly true that history is a useful storehouse of knowledge for a public administrator and gives him both timely information and warning.