Fundamental Duties of India: Importance, Features, List of 11 Fundamental Duties

By Aarna Tiwari|Updated : September 22nd, 2022

Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral and civic duties which are to be obeyed by the Indian Citizens. These are discussed in Article 51A of the Indian Constitution under Part IV. The concept of Fundamental Duties of India, which specifies the responsibilities of people as citizens of India, has been inspired by the Russian constitution. 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 included 10 Fundamental Duties to the Indian Constitution, and later, through the 86th Amendment Act 2002, the 11th Fundamental Duty was added to the list. The Swaran Singh Committee proposed the idea of having these duties added to the Consitution when their requirement was realized during the Indian emergency of 1975-77.

Fundamental Duties are an essential UPSC Indian Polity topic that must be studied by the aspirants very carefully. It is a part of the UPSC syllabus for Prelims and Mains. They remind citizens that while enjoying their rights, they must be conscious of the duties they owe to their country, society, and their fellow citizens.

Table of Content

What are Fundamental Duties?

The Fundamental Duties aid in regulating the conduct of the Indian citizens and bringing excellence to all the provinces of the citizens. These were added to the Indian Constitution to create & promote Indian Culture and reinforce the influences of the legislature in implementing these duties concerning the fundamental constitutional rights. The Fundamental Duties of India are nonjusticiable similar to the Directive Principle of State Policies. It means that there is no legal sanction against their violation.

11 Fundamental Duties of India

Get the list of 11 fundamental duties here, as mentioned in the Consitution of India. These were added under Article 51A by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. As observed in the UPSC previous year question papers, the fundamental duties UPSC is an important topic that must be covered while preparing for the Indian Polity section.

Fundamental Duties UPSC [PDF]


11 Fundamental Duties


To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.


To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.


To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India


To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so


To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India, transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.


To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture


To protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures


To develop the scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform


To safeguard public property and to abjure violence


To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement

11th Fundamental Duty

To who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Facts regarding Fundamental Duties of India

The Fundamental Duties also ask us to value and maintain the country's diverse culture's rich legacy, to care for and safeguard the natural environment, including woods, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, as well as to have compassion for all living things, cultivate a scientific mindset, humanism, and an inquiry and reform attitude, to protect public property, and to abstain from violence.

  • These comprise the classification of duties vital for the Indian way of life.
  • Unlike Fundamental Rights, these are pertinent only to Indian citizens and do not cover foreigners visiting or living in the country.
  • These are non-justiciable because the Indian Constitution does not state the courts' absolute implementation of these duties.
  • They cannot be taken to court as no legal punishments are for their violation.
  • FDs are listed in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution has only one Article 51 A.
  • Initially, there were only 8 fundamental duties, then amended to 10, and the last amendment included one more duty under 86th CAA 2002 - 51A(k).
  • The inspiration for implying them is taken from the Constitution of Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union).

Fundamental Duties

Importance of Fundamental Duties

Both moral and civic duties have been laid down under the Fundamental Duties list. Go through the following pointers to know the importance of Fundamental duties of the Indian Constitution:

  • They remind the Indian citizens that they need to be mindful of their duties and that they owe to the country, society, and other fellow citizens while relishing their rights.
  • These are forewarning against all the activities that are anti-national and anti-social. These actions can include purposefully damaging the national flag, spoiling public properties, and many others.
  • These are a significant source of insight for Indian citizens, promoting a sense of self-control and responsibility or liability among them.
  • Fundamental Duties establish a belief that the country's citizens are not ordinary audiences but active contributors to the accomplishment of national goals.
  • These have idyllic nature and rope the citizen into moving forward in the appropriate direction.
  • These duties also assist the courts in analyzing and ascertaining whether any law is valid as per the Constitution or not.
  • The most critical consequence is defining the ethical responsibilities of all Indian citizens, facilitating and encouraging the spirit of patriotism, and upholding the harmony of India.
  • Fundamental Duties make Indian citizens conscious of their communal & citizenship accountabilities and shape such a society and environment where everyone becomes caring and thoughtful of the inalienable rights of their fellow citizens.

Features of Fundamental Duties

There are multiple characteristics or features of Fundamental Duties which make them unique:

  • Disposition: Typically, these duties written in the Constitution are moral and civic responsibilities or promises of the citizens in the country and are legally non-obligatory.
  • Range: These duties are pertinent only to Indian citizens and do not cover foreigners visiting or living in the country.
  • Non-Defensible in the Courts of Law: The Indian Constitution does not specify any absolute implementation of these duties by the courts. Thus, making them non-justiciable in the courts of law.
  • Association with traditions: Fundamental Duties are associated with Hindu traditions and mythologies, such as recompensing regard to the country and endorsing the spirit of companionship and harmony.

Fundamental Duties Amendment (Article 51A)

The 11 Fundamental Duties are an indispensable element of the country's Constitution. These propose and represent several of the greatest morals or principles addressed by our social reformers, great ancient saints, philosophers, and administrative & constitutional chiefs. When the Fundamental Duties amendment commenced in the Indian Constitution in 1950, the citizens' duties were not included in the primary Constitution.

The Swaran Singh Committee took the initiative and recommended the incorporation of these duties of Indian citizens to serve as responsible citizens of the country. Initially, the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 added ten fundamental duties to the constitution as a coequal to citizens' fundamental rights. The mutual cooperation between the nation and its citizens to sustain a better administrative system in India was the primary goal.

Later, an additional 11th fundamental duty was merged with the existing ten duties through the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act in 2002. Hence, the present regulations ask the citizens to stick to the eleven duties in the Indian Constitution that they are obliged to their country as well as to other citizens.

Swaran Singh Committee on Fundamental Duties

As per the Swaran Singh Committee, the Fundamental Duties should converse with citizens of India that they also have some duties to play toward the country along with enjoying constitutional rights. The government agreed and endured this suggestion of the committee.

The Indian Constitution was updated with the section Part IV-A, comprising only one article.

Though the idea of Fundamental Duties by the Swaran Singh Committee was accepted, some of their recommendations were not acceptable.

The recommendations that were not accepted were:

  • Parliament should stipulate penalties or punishment in case of citizens fain in obeying or refusing any duty.
  • There should not be any law for questioning the obliging of such penalties or punishment in the court whether it is based on violation of any right or because of repugnancy to any other anticipation of the Indian Constitution.
  • The list of 11 Fundamental Duties of citizens should also include the duty to pay taxes.

Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties

The Verma committee was established in 1999. The committee recognized certain legal specifications for reinforcing the Fundamental Duties.

The Verma Committee identified the existence of the following legal provision:

Criticism of Fundamental Duties

Even though the fundamental duties are recognized to remind citizens about their responsibility for the country and society and stimulate a sense of discipline, these duties are criticized on many grounds.

  • The Critics have illustrated them as a code of moral or ethical instructions because of their non-justiciable uprightness.
  • Critics find adding these duties in the Constitution unessential because they believe that people or citizens of the country would perform the duties even if they were not inscribed in the Constitution as fundamental.
  • Critics also state that specific duties are unclear, ambiguous, and challenging for ordinary people to understand.
  • The Fundamental duties list is not extensive or all-inclusive since it does not embrace other vital responsibilities such as casting votes, tax-paying, and many others. Indeed, the Swaran Singh Committee suggested including paying taxes as a duty, but it was not accepted.
  • The critics also mention that including the list of fundamental duties as an accessory to the Constitution's Part IV-A has degraded their esteem and worth.
  • According to critics, these must have been supplemented or combined after Part III of the Indian Constitution to keep them equivalence with the Fundamental Rights.

Supreme Court Judgments On Fundamental Duties

According to the judgments of the Supreme Court, if any law seeks to provide sense to fundamental duties or influence them while the constitutional validity of the law is being determined, that particular law might be considered reasonable in consideration of Article 14 or Article 19 of the Constitution. Thus, such a law is saved from unconstitutionality.

The court also mentioned that States could make their independent laws to foil violations of FDs. TROs or court orders cannot impose Fundamental duties.

Difference between Fundamental Duties And Fundamental Rights

Even though the Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights are interlinked and cannot exist without each other, there are some differences between them which are as follows:

Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Rights

These are the legal accountabilities given to the citizens of India to accomplish in favour of the country and society.

Fundamental Rights are the liberties or eases ensured or promised to the citizens of India by the Constitution. No one and nothing can take away these rights from any citizen of the country.

Fundamental Duties are the ethical obligations or restraints for all Indian citizens. They must be accomplished to attain prosperity and maintain unity and harmony in the nation.

They are contemplated or believed to be the prescriptive policies of freedom for all the citizens to attain a peaceful and free lifestyle.

These are non-justiciable as the Indian Constitution does not specify any absolute implementation of these duties by the courts.

These are collectively presented to all citizens of India heedlessly of class, religion, status, race, gender or birthplace. They are justiciable and thus can be taken to court if exploited.

Fundamental Duties UPSC

The Fundamental Duty is an essential portion of the Indian Polity subject. The topic is crucial for UPSC Prelims, Mains, and Interviews. One can find its relevance under GS Paper 2 of the UPSC Mains and as well as in the UPSC Prelims. It is important for the UPSC aspirants to be aware of all the facts and information related to Fundamental Duties.

Fundamental Duties UPSC Sample Question

Question: Which statement does not describe any Fundamental Duty?

  1. To maintain and shield India's sovereignty, harmony, and reliability.
  2. To practice our Universal Adult Franchise during general polls.
  3. To appreciate and uphold the great heritage of the composite civilization.

Choose the Correct Answer:

  1. 1 & 2
  2. 1 & 3
  3. 2 & 3
  4. 1, 2 & 3

Answer: B

Other Important UPSC Notes

National Family Health Survey in India

Genome Sequencing in India

National Monetization Pipeline

Chabahar Port

Mauryan Empire

Fiscal Policy

Social Audit

Mission Indradhanush

Basel Convention 1989

Liquidity Trap

Mauryan Administration

International Court of Justice


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FAQs on Fundamental Duties

  • The Fundamental Duties of the Indian Consitution is the list of 11 duties that should be obeyed by the citizens of India to live a healthy and happy life, avoid conflicts between various religious groups, to protect the natural environment, etc. Article 51A of the Constitution explains the Fundamental Duties in India.

  • 10 fundamental duties were added to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. Later, the 11th fundamental duty was added by the 86th Amendment Act of 2002 in the light of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), which describes the duty of a parent or a guardian to provide educational opportunities to their children between the age of six and fourteen years.

  • An overview of the 11 fundamental duties of India is listed below. For a detailed description, read the above article.

    • Respect for Constitution, the National Flag, and the National Anthem.
    • Follow the noble ideals which inspired our freedom struggle.
    • Protect the unity, sovereignty, and integrity of India.
    • To be available to defend the country and render national service whenever required.
    • Promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood, value linguistic and regional diversities, etc.
    • Value and preserve our rich cultural heritage
    • Protect and conserve the natural environment, including forests, rivers, lakes, and wildlife.
    • To develop the scientific attitude, humanism, and spirit of inquiry and reform
    • Safeguard public property and renounce violence
    • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity
    • Provide education opportunities to children between six to fourteen years of age.
  • Fundamental rights are the legal obligations that must be fulfilled by the citizens of India in any case. These are added in Articles 12 to 35 of the Indian Constitution. On the other hand, Fundamental Duties are non-justiciable in nature and are added to ensure a better lifestyle for the country's people.

  • Fundamental Duties are important so that the citizens will be aware of their duties to the country, society, and other fellow citizens. These duties promote a healthy attitude towards regional, linguistic, and religious diversity among people.

  • The 11th fundamental duty was added by the 86th Amendment Act, 2002, which states that it is the duty of a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to their children from 6 to 14 years old. This was added after the recommendations of the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA).

  • Fundamental Duties are added in Part-IV-A of the Indian Constitution in the form of Article 51-A. Swaran Singh Committee in 1976 proposed the idea of adding these duties to the Constitution during the national emergency period.

  • To download the Fundamental Duties UPSC PDF, click here. It is essential that students are aware of this concept which forms an integral part of the Indian Polity section in the Prelims and Mains examinations.

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