Directive Principles of State Policy – Articles, List, DPSP Full Form

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Directive Principles of State Policy are a set of ideals that the State should consider while creating policies and passing legislation. It was borrowed from the Irish constitution by the Constituent Assembly, which in turn took inspiration from the Spanish constitution. Directive Principles of the Indian constitution guide the state regarding the country’s governance, but they are not legally enforceable. Directive Principles of State Policy are mentioned in the Indian Constitution in the form of articles.

Dr. B.R. Ambedkar expressed DPSP as a ‘novel feature’ of the Constitution. The DPSP primarily aims to create better social and economic conditions for a country’s citizens to lead better lives. Check out the complete information on Directive Principles of State Policy, its articles, list, cases, and amendments.

Directive Principles of State Policy

The Directive Principles of State Policy provides guidelines to the governing bodies of India explicitly mentioned as articles in the Indian Constitution. These 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. The non-justiciable rights are the Directive Principles of State Policy that is kept in mind by the state when it drafts policies and passes laws.

Directive Principles of State Policy Borrowed From?

The Directive Principles of State Policy were borrowed from the Irish Constitution. In contrast to fundamental rights, these Directive 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.

DPSP Full Form

The full form of DPSP is Directive Principles of State Policy. Our constitution’s economic and social democracy finds its footing here. The primary goal of incorporating Directive Principles of State Policy was establishing India as a “Modern Welfare State.” DPSP was also incorporated into the Indian Constitution to prevent wealth accumulation among a few segments of society.

DPSP is considered one of the salient features of the Indian Constitution. Below mentioned are some important highlights of the Directive Principles:

Highlights of Directive Principles – DPSP

DPSP Aspects Highlights
DPSP Full Form Directive Principles of State Policy
DPSP Full Form in Hindi राज्य नीति के निर्देशक सिद्धांत
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 DPSP To create a welfare state
Classification of DPSP Socialist Principles, Gandhian Principles, and Liberal-Intellectual Principles.

Directive Principles of State Policy in the Indian Constitution

The Sapru Committee of 1945 suggested a set of Justiciable Rights and a set of Non-Justiciable Rights. The former became the Fundamental Rights, and the latter became the Directive Principles of State Policy, which are essential and serve as the backbone of Indian democracy. Here are a few important points about Directive principles:

  • 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 improve people and provide all the necessary facilities and basic needs.

DPSP Articles List

There are a total of 17 articles in the Indian Constitution that are based on the DPSP. These Articles (36 to 51) are classified based on their ideological roots and the objectives they chase. The three major classifications of these articles are as follows:

  • Socialist Principles [Articles 38, 39, 39 A, 41, 42, 43, 43 A, and 47]
  • Gandhian Principles [Articles 40, 43, 43 B, 46, 47, and 48]
  • Liberal-Intellectual Principles [Articles 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, and 51].

Socialist Principles

The primary purpose of the DPSP of the Indian Constitution based on socialist principles is to provide socio-economic 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.

Socialist Principles of DPSP Details
Article 39 The State shall work towards direct objectives concerning;

Sufficient Livelihood means;

Resources control shall be done to help the common good;

Avoiding improper distribution of wealth among the citizens;

Equality of pay between genders;

Health and strength of the workers;

Childhood protection;

No exploitation of youth

Article 41 This article states that the State shall ensure the right to education, work, and public assistance despite unemployment, ill health, disability, and old age
Article 42 This article states that the State should make arrangements that secure humane conditions for work and assures maternity relaxation
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 good standard of living
Article 43 A This article states that a State is to move towards securing workers’ involvement in a company’s functioning
Article 47 This article guides the State to increase the nutritional level to work on public health and uplift the masses’ standard of living

Gandhian Principles

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.

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. Below are the articles that cover the Gandhian principles of DPSP:

DPSP Articles Details
Article 40 This article guides the State to fashion village panchayats into units of Self Government
Article 43 This article suggests the State promote cottage industries; on an individual and cooperative basis in rural parts of the country
Article 43 B 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

Liberal-Intellectual Principles

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

DPSP Articles Details
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
Article 45 This article asks the State to provide adequate education and care for children till six years of age
Article 48 This article gives provisions for the better organization of agriculture
Article 48 A 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
Article 50 This Directive Principles of State Policy article works toward separating the Judiciary and the Executive for smoother functioning
Article 51 This article wishes to work on international peace

Amendments in Directive Principles of State Policy

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 brought a few changes and additions to Part IV of the Indian constitution;
  • The 44th Constitutional Amendment added a new section (Section 2) in Article 38. According to this, the State shall make strides toward minimizing the widening wage gap, dependent on status, uneven opportunities, and facilities.

Below, we have listed the area where the acts and reforms that have been passed in alignment with the DPSP:

Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles

DPSP and fundamental rights are termed as the ‘conscience of the constitution. The Sapru Committee of 1945 made suggestions for both; the DPSP and the Fundamental Rights. An important difference between FR and DPSP is that Directive Principles of State Policy is a non-justiciable part of the constitution, meaning 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 more comprehensive/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.

Cases Associated with DPSP

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


DPSP or Directive Principles of State Policy is the non-justiciable and non-enforceable aspect of the Indian constitution cited in Part IV from articles 36 to 51. It promotes the ideal of social and economic democracy. DPSP topic has relevance for UPSC Mains GS-II and also for political science optional papers. It is included under the General Knowledge and Polity syllabus for UPSC, hence, students must solve GK questions to build a strong proficiency in the topic.

Examine about Directive Principles of State Policy, its significance in the Indian Constitution, and the history of its dispute with Fundamental Rights. Check out a few DPSP UPSC questions previously asked in the Prelims exam which will help you to have a fair idea about expected questions in the upcoming exam.

Directive Principles of State Policy Sample Questions

Question: Consider the statements: (1) Directive Principles restrain the government from doing certain things while Fundamental rights exhort the government to do certain things, (2) Only Fundamental Rights fall under the category of justiciable rights under the Indian constitution, (3) Directive Principles of State Policy make provisions for certain non-justiciable rights to the citizens. Which of the statements is/are correct? (a) 1 and 2 only, (b) 2 and 3 only, (c) 2 only, (d) 1 and 3 only, (e) Not Attempted
Answer: Directive Principles of State Policy make provisions for certain non-justiciable rights to the citizens

Question: Which part of the Indian Constitution deals with the Directive Principles of State Policy? (1) Part 3, (2) Part 4, (3) Part 5, (4) None of the Above
Answer: Part 4

Question: Which of the following committees is regarded as the suggesting committee of DPSP? (1) Sapru Committee, (2) Bhurelal committee, (3) None of the above
Answer: Sapru Committee

Question: Which of the following Provision is a part of both Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Duties? (A) Uniform Civil Code, (B) Guardians to provide opportunity for education to children, (C) Protection of environment, (D) Participation of workers in management of industries, (E) Not Attempted
Answer: Protection of environment.

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