Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP): Directive Principles, DPSP Articles of Indian Constitution 

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : January 18th, 2023

Directive Principles of State Policy are a set of ideals that the State should consider while creating policies and passing legislation. The DPSP of Indian Constitution was borrowed from the Irish Constitution by the Constituent Assembly, who in turn took inspiration from the Spanish constitution. DPSP articles in the Indian Constitution range from Articles 36 to 51 of Part 4. It was also included in the GOI Act 1935 as an instrument of instruction.

Directive Principles of State Policy Notes PDF

Directive Principles of State Policy of the Indian constitution guide the state regarding the country's governance, but they are not legally enforceable. In contrast to fundamental rights, these principles are 'non-binding,' implying that there are no such enforcement guidelines and that their violation is not enforceable by the courts. They only impose a moral obligation on government officials to provide basic amenities to Indian citizens. Know all about the DPSP UPSC topics and download complete Directive Principles of State Policy Notes. 

Table of Content

What are Directive Principles of State Policy?

The DPSP full form (Directive Principles of State Policy) provides guidelines to the governing bodies of India. The DPSP primarily aims to create better social and economic conditions for a country's citizens to lead better lives.

  • Our constitution's economic and social democracy finds its footing here.
  • The primary goal of incorporating Directive Principles of State Policy was to establish India as a "Modern Welfare State."
  • It was also incorporated into the Indian Constitution to prevent wealth accumulation among a few segments of society.

Below mentioned are some important highlights of the Directive Principles



DPSP Full-Form

Directive Principles of State Policy

DPSP Articles

Part IV of the constitution- Article 35 to Article 51

DPSP Borrowed from

Article 45 of the Irish Constitution

The basic concept behind Directive Principles of State Policy

To create a welfare state

Classification of Directive Principles of State Policy

Socialistic Principles, Gandhian Principles and Liberal-Intellectual Principles.

What is DPSP in Indian Constitution?

The Sapru Committee of 1945 suggested a set of justiciable rights and a set of non-justiciable rights. The former turned out to be the Fundamental Rights that serve as the backbone of a democracy like India, and the latter was the Directive Principles of State Policy.

  • They act as 'instruments of instruction', as enumerated in the Government of India Act of 1935.
  • The DPSP, though non-justiciable, isn't less important. They serve as ideals to be kept in the head while the Centre and State formulate policies for the country.
  • The Directive Principles were not subject to compulsory enforcement but rather a guide for the central and state governments to work towards improving people and providing all the necessary facilities and basic needs.

DPSP Articles

The DPSP Article 36 to 51 is classified based on their ideological roots and the objectives they chase. These grounds mentioned above can be divided into three major classifications.

  • DPSC Socialistic Principles - Articles 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A and 47
  • Gandhian Principles - Articles 40, 43, 43B, 46, 47 and 48
  • Liberal-Intellectual Principles of DPSP - Articles 44, 45, 48, 49, 50 and 51

Gandhian Principles in DPSP

The Gandhian Principles of Directive Principles of State Policy are true to their name and follow the Gandhian ideology established by the Indian independence struggle. Below are the articles that cover the Gandhian principles of DPSP

  • Article 40: This article guides the State to fashion village panchayats into units of Self Government.
  • Article 43: This article guides the State to promote cottage industries; on an individual and cooperative basis in rural parts of the country.
  • Article 43B: This DPSP article indicates the State to promote the ideals of autonomy of function, voluntary formation, and democratic control of cooperative organizations.
  • Article 46: This article shall guide the State to promote the educational and economic interest of the marginalized section of society (SCs, STs, etc.)
  • Article 47: This article of DPSP guides the State to work toward improving public health by prohibiting alcohol and drugs that risk health and being.
  • Article 48: This article guides against slaughtering calves, cows and other milch to improve their breeds.

These ideas and articles of Directive Principles of State Policy serve as a representation of Gandhi's reconstruction plan put forth during the national struggle. 

DPSP Socialistic Principles

The primary purpose of the DPSP of Indian Constitution based on socialistic principles is to provide socioeconomic justice to the masses by bridging the gaps created on the economic, social, and political fronts. Below are the articles that cover the socialistic principles of DPSP. 

Socialistic Principles of DPSP

DPSP Details

DPSP Article 39

The State shall work towards direct objectives concerning;

-Means of livelihood

-Ownership of material resources and control over it

-Avoiding concentration of wealth in a few hands

-Equal pay despite gender

-Health and strength of the workers

-Meaningful childhood and youth

Article 41

This article of Directive Principles of State Policy states that the State shall ensure the right to education, work and public assistance despite unemployment, ill health, disability, and old age.

DPSP Article 42

This article states that the State should make arrangements that secure humane conditions for work and assures maternity relief.

Article 43

This article of Directive Principles says that the State is to provide a livable wage to its workers, enabling them to have a decent standard of life.

Article 43A

The State is to move towards securing workers' participation in the management of the companies.

Article 47

This article guides the State to increase the nutritional level to work on public health and uplift the masses' standard of living.

DPSP Liberal-Intellectual Principles

As the name suggests, this part of the Directive Principles of State Policy has been influenced by the ideas of liberalism. Below are the articles that follow the liberal-intellectual principles;

  • Article 44: This article of Directive Principles of State Policy guides the State to attempt to secure a Uniform Civil Code for every citizen throughout the Indian territory.
  • DPSP Article 45: This article asks the State to provide adequate early childhood care and education for children till 6 years of age.
  • Article 48: This article gives provisions for the better organization of agriculture and animal husbandry by advancing science.
  • DPSP Article 48A: This article aims to protect, improve and safeguard the environment and wildlife.
  • Article 49: This article guides safeguarding every monument of historical interest and value.
  • DPSP Article 50: This article of Directive Principles of State Policy works toward separating the Judiciary from the Executive for the smoother functioning of these systems.
  • DPSP Article 51: This article wishes to work on international peace and security. For this, the state shall practice the following:
    • Maintaining honorable and just relations with other nations
    • Encouraging respect for treaty obligations and international law.
    • Promoting peace for international disputes by the cause of arbitration.

Fundamental Rights vs Directive Principles

DPSP and fundamental rights are termed as the 'conscience of the constitution. Learn the difference between DPSP and FR in the constitution of India. The Sapru Committee of 1945 made suggestions for both; the DPSP and the Fundamental Rights. The differences between them have been discussed below:

  • The Directive Principles of State Policy is a non-justiciable part of the constitution which means one cannot legally challenge their violation. On the other hand, Fundamental rights are legally binding, and their violation can cause legal trouble.
  • Fundamental rights work on the micro-level, while the DPSP has a limitless scope as it operates on a wider/macro level.
  • DPSP is the idealistic branch that guides the conduct of the State for the maximum betterment of the country and its masses before making and enacting the laws.
  • While DPSP acts as an affirmative hand, fundamental rights are negative and prohibitive in their approach as they work as limitations on the State.
  • Despite their differences, DPSP and Fundamental Rights go hand in hand. And in no way is the DPSP inferior to Fundamental rights.

Amendment in Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

The Directive Principles of State Policy is an amendable section of the constitution as it has undergone some work over the years. These amendments are discussed below:

  • The 42nd Constitutional Amendment of 1976 brought a few changes and additions to Part IV of the Indian constitution.
    • Article 39A provided free legal aid to the poor.
    • Article 43A encouraged workers' participation in the management of the companies.
    • Article 48A aimed to protect and preserve the environment
  • The 44th Constitutional Amendment of 1978: This amendment to DPSP added Section 2 to Article 38. This stated that the State shall make strides toward minimizing the widening wage gap, dependent on status, uneven opportunities and facilities. It also removed the Right to Property as a Fundamental Right.
  • The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 changed the subject matter covered under Article 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right. This was codified under the new Article 21A.

DPSP and Fundamental Rights Associated Cases

Due to the nature of fundamental rights and DPSP, there have been some clashes. These have been well-documented in the cases listed below:

  • Champakam Dorairajan v the State of Madras (1951)
    • The Supreme Court states that in a situation where there is a conflict between a fundamental right and a directive principle, the fundamental right will take precedence.
    • It ruled that the DPSP must function as a subsidiary of the fundamental rights.
    • Another significant result of this ruling was that the Parliament could amend fundamental rights.
  • Golaknath v the State of Punjab (1967)
    • In this case, the SC observed that the Fundamental Rights could not be amended even if it was to accommodate the execution of DPSP.
    • However, this was in contrast to its judgment in the Shankari Prasad case.
  • Kesavananda Bharati v the State of Kerala (1973)
    • The SC overruled the Golak Nath judgment and stated that the Parliament was free to amend any part of the Indian constitution as long as it didn't change the 'basics' of the structure.
    • The Right to property (article 31) was withdrawn as a fundamental right.
  • Minerva Mills v the Union of India (1980)
    • In this case, the SC recapitulated its earlier judgment stating that the Parliament can make amends in the constitution without comprising the 'basic structure' it has.

Implementation of DPSP: Associated Acts and Amendments

In this article, we have continuously discussed how the Directive Principles of State Policy were placed to guide the State governments to make laws keeping the betterment of the country's masses in mind. Below, we have listed the acts and reforms that have been passed in alignment with the DPSP;

Land Reforms: Most states have implemented land reform laws where the population is involved in agricultural occupations to improve their living standards. Measures like;

  • Abolition of 'middlemen' like Zamindars, Inamdar, Jagirdars, etc.
  • Reforms in the field of tenancy (tenure security, fair rent prices, etc.)
  • Surplus land distribution among the landless
  • Promotion of cooperative farming

Labour Reforms: Several acts have been passed to protect the rights of the laborers as per DPSP, like;

  • Minimum Wages Act of 1948
  • Code on Wages of 2020
  • Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act of 1970
  • Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986) was later renamed the Child and Adolescent Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act, 1986, in 2016.
  • Bonded Labour System Abolition Act of 1976
  • Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957
  • The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 and the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 were implemented to benefit female workers.

Introduction of Panchayati Raj: The constitutional obligation under article 40 was accomplished by the 73rd constitutional amendment in 1992.

  • This amendment introduced the third tier of governance in the rural parts of the country.
  • This was introduced on the Village, Block and District levels in almost all parts of the country.

Cottage Industries: Cottage industries are a way to earn a meaningful income by taking charge of the course of things. The promotion of this particular industry is important, which is why government reforms are needed.

  • Under article 43, the government has placed several boards like Village Industries Board, Khadi and Village Industries Commission, All India Handicraft Board, Silk Board, Coir Board, etc.
  • These bodies shall extend great help to cottage industries in matters regarding finance and marketing.

Education: This is a very important sector that aids the country's future development and people.

  • The 86th Constitutional Amendment introduced the Rights to Education Act of 2009, which made elementary education mandatory for children under 6 to 14.
  • This made the right to education a fundamental right.

Rural Area Development: multiple programmes have been undertaken to promise rural development, like;

  • Community Development Programme (1952)
  • Integrated Rural Development Programme (1978-79)
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA-2006)

Health and Environment: Several schemes protect the lives of people, like;

  • Pradhan Mantri Gram Swasthya Yojana (PMGSY) and National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) were launched to accomplish the social responsibility of the State.
  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980 and the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 were codified to preserve wildlife and forests, respectively.
  • Water and Air Pollution Control Acts have been passed that have helped to set up the Central Pollution Control Board.

Heritage Preservation: India has had a rich history of numerous kingdoms prospering on its territory. This has left a lasting legacy in the form of monuments, cultures, food, etc.

  • Ancient and Historical Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958 were enacted to safeguard monuments and objects of historical importance.


Directive Principles of State Policy UPSC is a topic of utmost relevance in Indian Polity and current affairs. It is a topic often asked about in the UPSC Mains and Prelims. 

You can download the UPSC syllabus and refer to this topic from appropriate Polity books for UPSC preparation.

Other Important UPSC Notes


Demographic Dividend

Mid-Day Meal Scheme


Pegasus Spyware

Polar Vortex

Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)

Contempt of Court in India

Project Tiger

Index of Industrial Production (IIP)

16 Mahajanapadas

National Education Policy


write a comment

FAQs on Directive Principles of State Policy

  • Article 35-51 makes up for the DPSP. DPSP stands for Directive Principles of State Policy, Part 4 of the Indian Constitution. They are the state's guiding principles for the country's governance. They are not legally enforceable.

  • There are a total of 15 DPSP Articles from Articles 36 to 51. The Classification of Directive Principles of State Policy is done in three sections. The DPSP provides guidelines to the governing bodies of India.

  • Directive Principles of State Policy are included in Part 4 of Indian Constitution, followed by Part 4A of Fundamental Duties. DPSP is a non-justiciable part of the constitution which means one cannot legally challenge their violation.

  • DPSP is classified into three major categories: socialist, Gandhian, and liberal-intellectual. The DPSP Article 36 to 51 is categorized based on their ideological roots and the objectives they pursue.

  • Four DPSP Articles were added by the 42nd Constitutional amendment in 1976. 

    • Article 39 - To secure opportunities for the healthy development of children.
    • Article 39A - To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor.
    • Article 43A - To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries.
    • Article 48A - To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife.
  • Yes, DPSP can be amended. Some amendments have already been made to the DPSP through the 42nd, 44th and 86th constitutional acts. 

  • No, DPSP cannot override Fundamental rights as stated by the Supreme Court of India. As per the decision, the DPSPs have to run subsidiaries to the Fundamental Rights and have to confirm them.

  • Dr. B R Ambedkar called the Directive Principles of State Policy the novel features of the constitution of India. This is because Fundamental Rights and the DPSPs include the principles of the Constitution and are its core.

  • The following articles of Directive Principles of State Policy are classified as Gandhian DPSP.

    • Article 40
    • Article 43
    • Article 43B
    • Article 46
    • Article 47
    • Article 48.
  • No, there is no such guideline as it is not enforceable by the court for violating these principles. All the principles are meant to uplift the citizens of the country.

  • Candidates preparing for the UPSC exam can download the Directive Principles of State Policy PDF, which include all related topics such as classification, DPSP articles, importance and more.

Follow us for latest updates