Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties

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#1 What are Directive Principles

Dr. BR Ambedkar described the Directive Principles as the “novel features” of the Indian Constitution. Directive principles, combined with the Fundamental rights have been described as the ‘conscience of the constitution’.

  • The provisions of Directive principles are contained in the Part IV of the constitution from Article 36 to 51.
  • Adopted form the constitution of Ireland.
  • Similar to “Instrument of Instructions” given in the Government of India Act, 1935.
  • Strives to achieve a ‘Welfare State’ by bringing about social and economic justice.
  • Article 36 – The term ‘State’ carries the same meaning as in Article 12 of Part III (FR).
  • Article 37 – Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature, however, they are fundamental to the governance of the country. Thus it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws and public policy.

#2 Categorisation of Directive Principles

DPSPs have been broadly classified into 3 categories:

  • Socialist Principles
  • Gandhian Principles
  • Western liberal Principles

#3 Important Articles related to the Directive Principles

  1. Article 38 – State to secure a Social order for the promotion of welfare of people. [Socialist principle]
  • By ensuring Justice-Social, Economic and Political.
  • Minimize inequality among the individuals and Society in general. [Inserted by 44th Amendment Act]
  1. Article 39Certain Principles to be followed by State. [Socialist principle]Article 39(a) – Right to adequate means of Livelihood. E.g.- Rural livelihood mission; MGNREGA etc.Article 39(b) – Equitable Distribution of resources.Article 39(c) – Prevention of concentration of wealth.
    • Example: Progressive Taxation; Land reforms; Nationalization of Corporation etc.
    • Article 31c – [25th CAA primary over Article 14 and 19]

    Article 39(d) – Equal pay for Equal works for both men and women.

    • Example: Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

    Article 39(e) – Protecting the health and strength of workers, men, women and children.

    • Example: Plantation Labor Act; Child Labor Prohibition Act etc.

    Article 39(f) – Children are given opportunity to develop in healthy manner.

    • Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
  1. Article 39A– Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid. [Socialist principle]
  • Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
  • Example: National Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 (Lok Adalat) covers both criminal and Civil Cases
  1. Article 40 – Organization of village Panchayats. [Gandhian principle]
  • Example: 73rd Amendment Act given constitutional States to village Panchayat
  1. Article 41 – Right to work, education and Public Assistance in certain cases. [Socialist principle]
  • Example: MGNREGA, RTE Act; old age pension scheme; old age homes run by state etc.
  1. Article 42 – Provisions for just and Humane condition of works and Maternity relief. [Socialist principle]
  • Example: Maternity Benefit Act; Factories Act; Plantation Labour Act etc.
  1. Article 43 – Decent standard of life and Living wage etc. for workers. [Socialist principle]
  • Example: Minimum wages Act.
  1. Article 43A – Participation of workers in management of industry. [Socialist principle]
  • Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
  • Example: Industrial Disputes Act; Trade unions Act etc.
  1. Article 43B – Promotion of Co-operatives [Gandhian principle]
  • Example: Co-operative Society Act.
  • Inserted by 97th Amendment Act, 2011.
  1. Article 44 – Uniform civil code [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Uniformity of laws in personal matters like Marriage, Divorce, Maintenance, Succession and adaption etc.
  • Example: Hindu marriage act, Indian Christian marriage act, Special marriage act, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937 etc.
  1. Article 45 – Early Childhood care up to 6 year. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Amended by 86th Amendment Act.
  • Example: ICDS, Immunization drive etc.
  1. Article 46 Promotion of educational and economic interest of SC/ST other weaker section. [Gandhian principle]
  • Example: EWS reservation; model schools for ST; Stand up India etc.
  1. Article 47 – Duty of state to raise level of nutrition and standard of living and improve Public health [Socialist principle] and prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drink. [Gandhian principle]
  • Example: MDM scheme; PDS national health mission etc.
  • Liquor banning policy by states life Kerala, Bihar, Gujarat etc.
  1. Article 48 – Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry on scientific lines and prohibition of slaughter of cows and calves etc. [Gandhian principle]
  • Green revolution; White revolution; Pink revolution, cow slaughter banning laws in states like Gujarat etc.
  1. Article 48A – Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forest and wild life. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
  • Example: Environment protection act 1986, Wildlife Act 1972, National Forest policy 1988.
  1. Article 49 – Protection of monuments, places and objects of National importance. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Example: Prasad policy by Ministry of Tourism. 12 cities Amaravati, Gaya, Dwarka, Vellamkani etc… identified for Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive (PRASAD).
  • HRIDAY (Ministry of Urban Development); Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana.
  1. Article 50 – Separation of Judiciary from Executive. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Example: CrPC – provides for separation Executive and Judicial functions by Executive and Judicial magistrates.
  1. Article 51 – Promotion of international peace and security. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
  • Example: Neighborhood First Policy NAM; No Nuclear First use, Panchsheel, UN peace keeping mission etc.

#4 Addition to Directive Principles through various amendments

(i) 42nd Amendment Act 1976 – Article 39(f), Article 39A, Article 43A, Article 48A

(ii) 44th Amendment Act 1978 – Article 38(2)

(iii) 86th Amendment Act 2002 – Changed Article 45 – education for all till age 6.

(iv) 97th Amendment Act 2011 – Article 43B

#5 Difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

Fundamental RightsDirective principles
Lay foundation of political democracySpell out character of social and economic democracy
Negative obligations of the StatePositive obligations of the State
Automatically enforcedRequire legislation to be enforced

#6 Directive Principles outside Part IV


  • Article 335 – Reserving jobs for SC/ST in Government due to attention to be paid to efficiency in Administration.
  • Article 350A – Facilities for instruction in mother tongue at primary stage. Minorities Linguistic; 7th Amendment Act 1956.
  • Article 351 – Directive for development of Hindi Language so it can serve as a medium of expression of all element of the composite culture of India.

#7 What are Fundamental Duties

  • Inserted as Part IVA of Constitution of India through the 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
  • On the recommendations of Swaran Singh Committee.
  • Inspired by the constitution of erstwhile USSR.
  • Inserted 10 Fundamental Duties originally in Article 51A (only one article in Part IVA).
  • 11th Fundamental Duty added through the 86th Constitutional Amendment 2002.
  • Basic idea was to balance rights with duties.
  • Fundamental Duties are Non-justiciable in nature.

#8 Provisions enshrined in Article 51A

Article 51A – Fundamental Duties

  1. To abide by the constitution and respect National Flag and National Anthem.
  2. To Cherish and follow the noble ideas of our National struggle for freedom.
  3. To Uphold and protect the Sovereignty unity and integrity of India.
  4. To defend the country and render National Service when called upon to do so.
  5. To promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood and renounce practice derogatory to the dignity of women.
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
  7. To protect and Improve Natural environment and have compassion for living creatures.
  8. To develop scientific temper, humanism and spirit of inquiry and reform.
  9. To safeguard public property and abjure violence.
  10. To strive for excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.
  11. Parents or guardian to provide opportunity for education to child up to 14 years. (Inserted by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002).
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