Part IV of the Constitution: Directive Principles of State Policy

By Naveen Singh|Updated : August 28th, 2021

Today We will discuss Directive Principles of the State Policy which is an important topic for CDS, CAPF, TA, AFCAT & other defence exams

Part IV of the Indian Constitution talks about Directive Principles of our State Policy (DPSP). No court may enforce the provisions contained in this Part, but these principles are fundamental to the country's governance and it is the State's duty to apply these principles to lawmaking.

As we all know that learning concepts via video lesson are always useful as compared to study notes. Here we are providing you with the Video Lesson on Directive Principles of the State Policy
along with the Quiz to test your knowledge. Click on the links below to Watch live session by Soumitro Chowdhury (Ex AC BSF & AIR-30 in CDS)

Part IV of the Constitution: Directive Principles of the State Policy

Part IV consists of the following articles:

Article 36: Definition
Article 37: Application of the principles contained in this part
Article 38: State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people
Article 39: Certain principles of policy to be followed by the state
Article 39a: Equal justice and free legal aid
Article 40: Organisation of village panchayats
Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief
Article 43: Living wage, etc., for workers
Article 43a: Participation of workers in the management of industries
Article 44: Uniform civil code for the citizen
Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children
Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections
Article 47: Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health
Article 48: Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry
Article 48a: Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife
Article 49: Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance
Article 50: Separation of judiciary from the executive
Article 51: Promotion of international peace and security

Features of DPSP:

1. They are known as Novel Features of the Constitution.
2. Inspired by the Irish constitution.
3. Similar to the Instruments of Instructions mentioned in the Government of India Act, 1935.
4. Together with fundamental rights, they are termed as the conscience of the constitution.
5. ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ denotes the ideals that the State should keep in mind while formulating policies and enacting laws. These are the constitutional instructions or recommendations to the State in legislative, executive and administrative matters.
6. The DPSPs constitute a very comprehensive economic, social and political programme for a modern democratic State. They aim at realizing the high ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution. They embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’.
7. The Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature, that is, they are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation. Therefore, the government (Central, state and local) cannot be compelled to implement them. Nevertheless, the Constitution (Article 37) itself says that these principles are fundamental to the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.

8. The provisions of the Directive Principles are broadly classified into-
   (a) Socialist principles
   (b) Gandhian principles
   (c) Liberal intellectual principles

9. Some Important Articles in DPSPs are :

  • To promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by justice— social, economic and political—and to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities (Article 38).
  • To secure (a) the right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens; (b) the equitable distribution of material resources of the community for the common good; (c) prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production; (d) equal pay for equal work for men and women; (e) preservation of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse; and (f) opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39).
  • To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A). This was added by 42nd constitutional amendment act, 1976.
  • To secure the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement (Article 41).
  • To make provision for just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief (Article 42).
  • To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A). Also added by 42nd constitutional amendment act, 1976.
  • To organise village panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them to function as units of self-government (Article 40).
  • To promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas (Article 43).
  • To prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health (Article 47).
  • To prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle and to improve their breeds (Article 48).
  • To secure for all citizens a uniform civil code throughout the country (Article 44).
  • To provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years (Article 45). Also, amended by the 86th constitutional amendment act, 2002.
  • To separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State (Article 50).
  • To promote international peace and security and maintain just and honourable relations between nations; to foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and to encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration (Article 51).
  • The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 changed the subject-matter of Article 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21A. The amended directive requires the State to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  • The 97th Amendment Act of 2011 added a new Directive Principle relating to co-operative societies. It requires the state to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies (Article 43B).
  • The DPSPs are instructions to the State.

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