Fundamental Duties – Importance, Features, 11 Fundamental Duties of India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 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 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. Learn about the meaning, features, and importance of fundamental duties of Indian Constitution in detail through the information shared in this article.

Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution

The concept of Fundamental Duties was added to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976, inspired by the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. These duties were incorporated as Article 51A and are non-justiciable, meaning that they are not enforceable by law. However, they serve as a guiding framework to promote a sense of responsibility and citizenship among the people.

While the Constitution primarily focuses on the rights and freedoms of individuals, the framers also recognized the importance of emphasizing certain duties to ensure the overall well-being and progress of the nation.

How many Fundamental Duties are there in Indian Constitution?

There are 11 Fundamental Duties outlined in the Indian Constitution under Article 51A. These duties serve as guiding principles to promote a sense of responsibility and citizenship among the people. The inclusion of these Fundamental Duties reflects the recognition that citizenship entails both rights and corresponding responsibilities.

List of 11 Fundamental Duties of India

Fundamental Duties are a set of moral and civic obligations that are mentioned in Part IV-A (Article 51A) of the Indian Constitution. These duties were added through the 42nd Amendment Act in 1976 and are intended to promote the ideals of a responsible and active citizenry. While they are not enforceable by law, they serve as guiding principles for citizens to contribute to the overall well-being and development of the nation. The following is the list of 11 fundamental duties of India as provided in the Indian Constitution:

  1. To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals
  2. To cherish and follow the noble ideals
  3. To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India
  4. To defend the country and render national service
  5. To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India
  6. To value and preserve the rich heritage of India
  7. To protect and improve the natural environment
  8. To develop scientific temper, humanism, and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  9. To safeguard public property and abjure violence
  10. To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity
  11. 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.

Importance of Fundamental Duties

The Fundamental Duties hold significant importance in the Indian context for several reasons:

  • 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 of India

While the Fundamental Duties are not legally enforceable, they play a crucial role in shaping the moral and ethical fabric of society. They aim to instill a sense of civic responsibility, patriotism, and active participation among citizens to contribute to the overall development and well-being of the nation.

The Fundamental Duties of India possess the following key features:

  • Non-Justiciable: The Fundamental Duties are non-justiciable, which means that individuals cannot be legally punished or face legal consequences for not fulfilling these duties. Unlike Fundamental Rights, which are enforceable through the courts, Fundamental Duties primarily serve as moral and ethical obligations.
  • Complementary to Rights: The Fundamental Duties complement the Fundamental Rights granted to citizens. While Fundamental Rights focus on individual liberties and protections, these duties emphasize the responsibilities and obligations that citizens should fulfill towards the nation and society.
  • Guiding Principles: The Fundamental Duties serve as guiding principles for citizens to promote the overall well-being and development of the country. They provide a framework for individuals to understand their roles and responsibilities as active and responsible citizens.
  • Evolving Nature: The Fundamental Duties are not static and can evolve over time. As societal needs and priorities change, new duties may be added or existing duties may be modified to reflect contemporary challenges and aspirations.

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.

Fundamental Duties UPSC

In the UPSC Prelims and Mains exam, there are multiple questions asked from Fundamental Duties of India. This makes it an important topic in the Indian Polity syllabus. Here are some sample questions on Fundamental Duties that may be asked in the UPSC Prelims exam:

Q1: Which amendment to the Indian Constitution introduced the Fundamental Duties? – (a) 44th Amendment, (b) 42nd Amendment, (c) 73rd Amendment, (d) 86th Amendment

Answer: (b) 42nd Amendment

Q2: How many Fundamental Duties are mentioned in the Indian Constitution? – (a) 7, (b) 9, (c) 10, (d) 11

Answer: (d) 11

Q3: The Fundamental Duties in India are:

  1. Legally enforceable
  2. Non-justiciable
  3. Binding on the state governments only
  4. Restricted to Indian citizens only

Answer: (B) Non-justiciable

Fundamental Duties UPSC Mains Questions

Question 1: Discuss the significance of Fundamental Duties in strengthening the fabric of Indian democracy. How can they contribute to the overall development of the nation? (Word limit: 250 words)

Question 2: Examine the constitutional provisions and historical context behind the inclusion of Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution. Analyze their role in promoting social harmony and national integration. (Word limit: 300 words)

Question 3: Critically evaluate the effectiveness of Fundamental Duties in shaping responsible citizenship and instilling a sense of social responsibility among individuals. Suggest measures to enhance their awareness and compliance in the Indian society. (Word limit: 250 words)

Question 4: The Fundamental Duties are often seen as the counterpart of the Fundamental Rights. Elaborate on the relationship between these two concepts and discuss how they complement each other in promoting a just and equitable society. (Word limit: 300 words)

UPSC Notes:
Sources of Indian Constitution Five Year Plan in India
Amendments of Indian Constitution Military Exercises of India
Non Cooperation Movement International Organisations and their Headquarters
Types of Soil in India Panchayati Raj System
President of India Biodiversity Hotspots in India
Economic Planning in India Vedas
Our Apps Playstore
SSC and Bank
Other Exams
GradeStack Learning Pvt. Ltd.Windsor IT Park, Tower - A, 2nd Floor, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201303
Home Practice Test Series Premium