Directive Principles of State Policy

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

  1. The provisions of Directive principles are contained in Part IV of the constitution from Articles 36 to 51.
  2. Adopted from the constitution of Ireland.
  3. Similar to the “Instrument of Instructions” given in the Government of India Act, of 1935.
  4. Strives to achieve a ‘Welfare State’ by bringing about social and economic justice.

DPSPs have been broadly classified into 3 categories

  1. Socialist principles
  2. Gandhian Principles
  3. Western liberal principles
Classification of The Directive Principles

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.

Article 38

State to secure a Social order for the promotion of the welfare of people. [Socialist principle]
By ensuring Justice-Social, Economic, and Political.
Minimize inequality among individuals and Society in general. [Inserted by 44th Amendment Act]

Article 39

Certain Principles to be followed by State. [Socialist principle]

(i) Article 39(a) – Right to adequate means of Livelihood. E.g.- Rural livelihood mission; MGNREGA etc.
(ii) Article 39(b) – Equitable Distribution of resources.
(iii) Article 39(c) – Prevention of concentration of wealth

  • E.g.: Progressive Taxation; Land reforms; Nationalization of corporations etc.
  • Article 31c – [25th CAA primary over Article 14 and 19]

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

  • E.g.: Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

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

  • E.g.: Plantation Labor Act; Child Labor Prohibition Act etc.

(vi) Article 39(f) – Children are given the opportunity to develop in a healthy manner.
Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.

Article 39A

Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid. [Socialist principle]
Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
E.g.: National Legal Services Authority Act, 1987 (Lok Adalat) covers both criminal and Civil Cases

Article 40

Organization of village Panchayats. [Gandhian principle]
E.g.: the 73rd Amendment Act gave constitutional States to the village Panchayat.

Article 41

Right to work, education, and Public Assistance in certain cases. [Socialist principle]
E.g.: MGNREGA, RTE Act; old age pension scheme; old age homes run by the state, etc.

Article 42

Provisions for just and Humane conditions of work and Maternity relief. [Socialist principle]
E.g.: The maternity Benefit Act; Factories Act; Plantation Labour Act etc.

Article 43

Participation of workers in the management of industry. [Socialist principle]
Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
E.g.: Industrial Disputes Act; Trade unions Act etc.

Article 43B

Promotion of Co-operatives [Gandhian principle]
E.g.: the Co-operative Society Act.
Inserted by 97th Amendment Act, 2011.

Article 44

Uniform civil code [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
Uniformity of laws in personal matters like Marriage, Divorce, Maintenance, Succession, and adaption, etc.
E.g.: Hindu marriage act, Indian Christian marriage act, Special marriage act, Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act 1937, etc.

Article 45

Early Childhood care up to 6 years. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
Amended by 86th Amendment Act.
E.g.: ICDS, Immunization drive, etc.

Article 46

Promotion of educational and economic interest of SC/ST and other weaker sections. [Gandhian principle]
E.g.: EWS reservation; model schools for ST; Stand up India etc.

Article 47

The duty of the state is to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living and improve Public health [Socialist principle] and prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks. [Gandhian principle]
E.g.: MDM scheme; PDS national health mission etc.
Liquor banning policy by states like Kerala, Bihar, Gujarat, etc.

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.

Article 48A

Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forest and wildlife. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
Inserted by 42nd Amendment Act 1976.
E.g.: Environment protection act 1986, Wildlife Act 1972, National Forest policy 1988

Article 49

Protection of monuments, places, and objects of National importance. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
E.g.: 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.

Article 50

Separation of Judiciary from Executive. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
E.g.: CrPC – provides for the separation of Executive and Judicial functions by the Executive and Judicial magistrates.

Article 51

Promotion of international peace and security. [Liberal-Intellectual principle]
E.g.: Neighborhood First Policy NAM; No Nuclear First use, Panchsheel, UN peacekeeping mission, etc.

Additions through Amendments

  1. 42nd Amendment Act 1976 – Article 39(f), Article 39A, Article 43A, Article 48A
  2. 44th Amendment Act 1978 – Article 38(2)
  3. 86th Amendment Act 2002 – Changed Article 45 – education for all till age 6.
  4. 97th Amendment Act 2011 – Article 43B

Directive Principles of State Policy Outside PART III

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

Differences between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

Area of differenceFundamental rightsDirective Principles of State Policy
Purpose of the Laws:The democratic political system has been established by providing the FRs.The economic welfare of the state is established by the implementation of the DPSPs.
Subjects to deal with:FRs are subject to the court of law at any point in time if anybody feels that his FRs are being violated.DPSPs by the court of law are not enforceable.
Suspension Condition;FRs can be suspended except for the rights mentioned in Articles 20 and 22 during an emergency.DPSPs under any condition can never be suspended.
The affect of the law:FRs because of their restrictive attitudes towards the states are assumed negatively sometimes.DPSPs because they direct the states for definite activity are always affirmative.


The moral responsibility of all people to support the unity of India and advance patriotism is known as the Fundamental Duties. These obligations, which are outlined in Part IV-A of the Constitution, affect both people and the country.
The USSR is where the idea of fundamental obligations originated. Primarily derived from Indian heritage, mythology, faiths, and rituals are the Fundamental Duties. These were essentially the obligations that codify responsibilities essential to the Indian way of life.
The Swaran Singh Committee suggested introducing fundamental duties to the constitution in 1976.

Fundamental duties are important because:

  • They remind Indian Citizens of their duty towards their society, fellow citizens, and the nation
  • They warn citizens against anti-national and anti-social activities
  • They inspire citizens & promote a sense of discipline and commitment among them
  • They help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law

11 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 the spirit of common brotherhood and renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.
  7. To protect and Improve the Natural environment and have compassion for living creatures.
  8. To develop a 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 guardians provide opportunities for education to children up to 14 years. (Inserted by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002).

Similarities between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Fundamental Rights are often contrasted and compared with the (DPSP) Directive Principles of the State Policy.
  • The State must take note of the Directive Principles in determining the scope of Fundamental Rights.
  • While adopting the doctrine of harmonious construction, the Court should give effect to both the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights.
  • Fundamental rights are facilities or rights given by the state to the people.
  • Directive Principles are directions that are provided by the constitution to the state.


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What is the difference between the Constitution and fundamental rights?

A supreme right that is guaranteed by our Constitution is known as a Constitutional Right. These rights are not basic and do not apply to everyone, unlike fundamental rights.

What is the primary key difference between fundamental rights and duties?

The fundamental right is based on the privilege granted to you, whereas fundamental duty is based on accountability is the primary difference between fundamental right and fundamental duty.

What is the difference between right and duty?

Rights: Rights are ethical, legal, or social principles of freedom that are entitled to the people by a governing body.
Duties: something that you or one is expected or required to do by moral or legal obligation is called duty.