In-depth understanding of the Directive Principles of State Policy

Directive Principles of State Policy:

The Constitution of India aims to establish not only political democracy but also socio-economic justice to the people to establish a welfare state. With this purpose in mind, our Constitution lays down desirable principle and guidelines in Part IV known as the Directive Principle of State Policy.

Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are in the form of instructions/guidelines to the governments at the centre as well as states. Though these principles are non-justiciable, they are fundamental in the governance of the country. The idea of Directive Principles of State Policy has been taken from the Irish Republic. They were incorporated in our Constitution in order to provide economic justice and to avoid concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people. Therefore, no government can afford to ignore them. They are in fact, the directives to the future governments to incorporate them in the decisions and policies to be formulated by them.

#Features

  1. Resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the Government of India Act,   1935.
  2. Aim at realising the high ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as outlined in Preamble to the Constitution.
  3. Embody the concept of a ‘welfare state’.
  4. Seek to establish economic and social democracy.
  5. Are non-justiciable.
  6. Fundamental in the governance of the country.
  7. Help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law.

#Classification

The Constitution does not contain any classification of the Directive Principles. However, on the basis of their content and direction, they can be classified broadly into socialist, Gandhian and liberal-intellectual.

#Socialistic Principles:

  1. to promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by social, economic and political justice and to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)
  2. to secure (a) the right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens; (b) the equitable distribution of material resources of the community for 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. (Art 39)
  3. to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  4. to secure the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement. (Art 41)
  5. to make provision for just and humane conditions for work and maternity relief. (Art 42)
  6. to secure a living wage, a decent standard of life and social and cultural opportunities for all workers (Art 43)
  7. to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  8. to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people and to improve public health. (Art 47)

#The Gandhian Principles:

Based on Gandhian ideology, these include

  1. to organize village Panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them to function as units of self government. (Art 40)
  2. to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas. (Art 43)
  3. to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)
  4. to promote the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections of the society and to protect them from social injustice and exploitation. (Art 46)
  5. to prohibit the consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health. (Art 47)
  1. to prohibit slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and drought cattle and to improve their breeds. (Art 48)

# Liberal-Intellectual Principles:

These principles represent the ideology of liberalism and direct the state to

  1. to secure for all citizens a uniform civil code. (Art 44)
  2. to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years. (Art 45)
  3. to organise agricultural and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines. (Art 48)
  4. to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)
  5. to protect monuments, places and objects of artistic or historic interest which are declared to be of national importance. (Art 49)
  6. to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the state. (Art 50)
  7. 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. (Art 51)

# Added by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976:

  1. to secure opportunities for healthy development of children. (Art 39)
  2. to promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor. (Art 39A)
  3. to take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Art 43A)
  4. to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife. (Art 48A)

# Added by 44th Amendment Act, 1978:

  1. to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities. (Art 38)

# Added by 97th Amendment Act, 2011:

  1. to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of co-operative societies. (Art 43B)

86th Amendment Act, 2002 changed the subject matter of Art 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Art 21A. The amended directive requires the state to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of 6 years.

 

#Previous Year MCQs:

#1. The ideal of ‘Welfare State’ in the Indian Constitution is enshrined in its (2015)

(a) Preamble

(b) Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) Fundamental Rights

(d) Seventh Schedule

#2. Consider the following statements regarding the Directive Principles of State Policy : (2015)

  1. The Principles spell out the socio-economic dmocracy in the country.
  2. The provisions contained in these Principles are not enforceable by any court.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

#3. In the Constitution of India, promotion of international peace and security is included in the  (2014)

(a) Preamble to the Constitution

(b) Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) Fundamental Duties

(d) Ninth Schedule

 

#4. According to the Constitution of India, which of the following are fundamental for the governance of the country? (2013)

(a) Fundamental Rights

(b) Fundamental Duties

(c) Directive Principles of State Policy

(d) Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties

#5. ‘Economic Justice’ as one of the objectives of the Indian Constitution has been provided in (2013)

(a) the Preamble and the Fundamental Rights

(b) the Preamble and the Directive Principles of State Policy

(c) the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy

(d) None of the above

#6. Consider the following provisions under the Directive Principles of State Policy as enshrined in the Constitution of India : (2012)

  1. Securing for citizens of India a uniform civil code
  2. Organizin village Panchayats
  3. Promoting cottage industries in rural areas
  4. Securing for all the workers reasonable leisure and cultural opportunities

#7. Which of the above are Gandhian Principles that are reflected in the Directive Principles of  State Policy ? (2012)

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

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