Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are included in Part IV – Article 36 to 51 of the Indian constitution. The concept of the Directive principle of State Policy (DPSP) is taken from the Irish constitution.
Directive Principles of state policy are a set of instructions contained in Articles 36 to 51, which aims to promote the concept of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity. The constitution-makers wanted that the state should always consider the instructions mentioned in the DPSP while formulating their policies. These are non-justiciable in nature but very important for the political development and upliftment of the socio-economic condition of the citizens.
Granville Austin called it as “conscience of the constitution”.
Dr. BR Ambedkar describes the directive principle of State Policy as a novel feature in our constitution.
The DPSP puts a moral obligation on the states to include it in the laws which are made by the state legislative assembly at an appropriate time.
It emphasizes that the state should keep it in mind while formulating its policies. It resembles the instrument of instruction to the states given in the Government of India Act 1935.
Directive Principles of State Policy – DPSP provides very comprehensive coverage of socio-economic and political development in a democratic country like India.
It also aims to provide justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity, which are enriched in our preamble.
Directive Principles of State Policy – DPSP gives the concept of a welfare state because it aims to act as an enabler to the people of the country.
The directive principles are not justiciable in nature and not legally enforceable by the court if they are violated. However, it is the duty of a state to apply these principles while making laws and policies.
Even the directive principles of State Policy help the Judiciary to determine the validity of any law with respect to constitutional provisions.
Our constitution does not categorize directive principle of State Policy but it can be classified in three broad categories like
- Socialist Directive principles
- Gandhian Directive principles
- Liberal intellectual Directive principles
Socialist Directive Principles:
Socialist Directive Principles are those principles that reflect the ideology of socialism in India. The Indian variant of socialism is “democratic socialism” which provides social and economic justice. These are contained in the articles like;
Article 38: State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people.
The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic, and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities, and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
Article 39: Certain principles or policies to be followed by the State.
The State shall in particular direct its policy towards securing.
(a) That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood.
(b) That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good.
(c) That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.
(d) That there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
(e) That the health and strength of workers, men, and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength.
(f) That children should be given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and moral and material abandonment.
Article 39A: Equal justice and free legal aid. It was added by the 42nd amendment act of 1976
The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen because of economic or other disabilities.
Article 41: Right to work, to education, and to public assistance in certain cases.
The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education, and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.
The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
Article 43: Living, Wage, etc. for workers.
The State shall endeavor to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organization or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas.
Article 43A: Participation of workers in the management of industries. Added by 42nd amendment act of 1976
The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments, or other organizations engaged in any industry.
Article 47: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
The State shall take steps to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.
Gandhian Directive Principles:
The Gandhian directive principles are mainly based on the Gandhian ideology which focuses on the reconstruction of rural development and try to fulfill Gandhi’s dreams, some articles related to Gandhian principles are;
Article 40: Organisation of village panchayats.
The State shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.
Article 43b: Promotion of co-operative societies. Added by 97th amendment act of 2011
The State shall endeavor to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of cooperative societies.
Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other weaker sections.
The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and, in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Article 47: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health (Also discussed in the Socialist Directive Principles)
The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavor to bring about prohibition of the consumption of alcoholic drink (prohibition of liquor) except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs, which are injurious to health.
Article 48: Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry.
The State shall endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
Liberal Intellectual Directive principles:
Article 44: Uniform civil code for the citizens.
The State shall endeavor to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
Article 45: Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.
The State shall endeavor to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
Article 48: agriculture and animal husbandry on a modern and scientific basis.
This article advises the state to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on a modern and scientific basis.
Article 48A: Protection and improvement of the environment, forests, and wildlife
Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife. Added by 42nd amendment act of 1976.
Article 49: Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.
It shall be the obligation of the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interests declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be.
Article 50: Separation of judiciary from the executive.
The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
Article 51: Promotion of international peace and security.
The State shall endeavor to
(a) Promote international peace and security.
(b) Maintain just and honourable relations between nations.
(c) Foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organized peoples with one another and
(d) Encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
Difference between fundamental rights and directive principles:
1. As the fundamental rights are negative in nature and prevent the state from doing certain things. On the other hand, directive principles are positive in nature and encourage the state to do certain things.
2. Fundamental rights have the legal sanction on the other hand directive principles have moral and Political Obligation.
3. Fundamental rights are justifiable in nature and can be legally enforceable by the court in case of violation but the directive principle is non-justiciable in nature and not legally enforceable by the court if they violated
4. The fundamental rights try to focus on political democracy in our country but the directive principles focus to establish social and economic democracy in the country.
5. Fundamental rights promote individualism welfare and its personal in nature but directive principles try to promote community welfare and focus on societal needs.
6. Fundamental rights do not need any legislation for their implementation and they are automatically enforced but the directive principles require legislative action for its implementation.
7. The court can declare any law null and void as well as unconstitutional and invalid if any Fundamental rights are violated but Court cannot declare a law null and void in case of violation of the directive principles, as it is not enforceable by the court.
Supreme Court had said that fundamental right and Directive principles are two wheels of a Chariot and no one is less than the other, both together constitute the core of commitment of social democracy in our country.
This article is written by;
Mr. Pankaj Kumar Gupta
(Email ID: [email protected])