Fundamental Duties: Importance, List, Article 51A, UPSC Notes

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral and civic duties which are to be obeyed by 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. Initially, 10 fundamental duties were added through the 42nd Amendment Act 1976. Later, the 11th fundamental duty was added to the list through the 86th Amendment Act 2002. The history and origin of the idea of fundamental duties of Indian constitution were traced back to the Swaran Singh Committee, which proposed the idea of having them added to the Consitution when their requirement was realized during the Indian emergency of 1975-77.

Fundamental Duties UPSC notes are an essential part of Indian Polity 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 their duties to their country, society, and fellow citizens.

Table of content

  • 1. What are Fundamental Duties? (more)
  • 2. 11 Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 3. Facts regarding Fundamental Duties of India (more)
  • 4. Importance of Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 5. Features of Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 6. Fundamental Duties Article 51A (more)
  • 7. Swaran Singh Committee on Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 8. Verma Committee on Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 9. Criticism of Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 10. Supreme Court Judgments On Fundamental Duties (more)
  • 11. Difference between Fundamental Duties and Fundamental Rights (more)
  • 12. Fundamental Duties UPSC (more)

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 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

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.


11 Fundamental Duties


To respect the National flag, National Anthem, and the ideals and institutions of our Constitution.


Following and cherishing the noble ideals which inspired our freedom struggle


Uphold and protect the unity, sovereignty, and integrity of India


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


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


Safeguard and value the heritage of our rich and composite culture


To have compassion for living beings; improve and save the natural environment, including rivers, lakes, forests, and wildlife.


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


Protect public property and renounce violence


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

11th Fundamental Duty

Responsibility of a parent or guardian to provide educational opportunities for their child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.

Facts regarding Fundamental Duties of India

Some interesting facts which will enhance your knowledge of the fundamental duties of India are given below:

  • These comprise the classification of duties vital for the Indian way of life.
  • Unlike Fundamental Rights, fundamental duties 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

The list of Fundamental Duties resent both civic and moral values to be obeyed by the citizens. 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.

☛ Learn: Are Fundamental Duties enforceable in court?

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 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 fail to obey or refuse 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 their 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 Supreme 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 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 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.

To learn the difference between fundamental rights and fundamental duties in detail, click on the link provided here.

Fundamental Duties UPSC

The Fundamental Duties UPSC notes must be carefully studied by all aspirants preparing for the upcoming IAS exam. Questions from this topic can be asked in Prelims, Mains, and even in the IAS Interview. Hence, candidates must read this article thoroughly and prepare handwritten notes on the fundamental duties of India to retain the concepts.

Fundamental Duties UPSC 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

Our Apps Playstore
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium