The Directive Principles of State Policy of India are included in Part IV of our Indian Constitution. Articles 36-51 deal with the Directive Principles of State Policy. Our DPSP are adopted from the constitution of Ireland, which had originally adopted them from the Spanish Constitution.  

Directive Principles of State Policy

This article is to discuss all the DPSPs in detail, why they are an important part of our constitution, and also their conflicts with the Fundamental Rights.  

What are the Directive Principles of State Policy?  

In 1945, the Sapru Committee suggested two categories of Individual rights. Justiciable and non-justiciable rights. Justiciable rights are well known as our Fundamental Rights. The Directive Principles of State Policy are the non-justiciable rights. 

By definition, the Directive Principles of State Policy are an instrument of instructions outlined in the Government of India Act, 1935, seeking to establish economic and social democracy and welfare of the people in the country. They are a set of guidelines consisting of 15 principles that are to be followed by the federal institutions in the governance of the country while framing and implementing laws and policies.  

Unlike other provisions of the constitution, these principles cannot be enforced by the court of law. Instead, they are to be enforced by the state solely in the governance of the country. Let us learn about the DPSPs, i.e., Article 36-51 in detail.  

Article 36

According to this article of the Indian Constitution, whenever we come across the word ‘State’, it has the same meaning as defined in Article 12 of the Indian Constitution unless stated otherwise. State includes everything that comes under the government of India like the Parliament, the legislatures of each state, and the local authorities likewise.  

Article 37

This article of the Indian Constitution talks about how the Directive Principles of the State Policy are supposed to be applied:  

Article 38

According to this article, the state must secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people. This article of the Indian Constitution has two parts. Article 38 (1) and Article 38 (2).  

Article 38 (1): This clause of the article states that the State should always work towards the welfare of the people by making policies that contribute towards social, economic, and political justice.  

Article 38 (2): This clause of the article states that the State should keep equality in mind while making development policies, and must strive to make policies that work towards removing inequalities in income, facilities, and opportunities.  

Article 39

This article of the Indian Constitution states that the State should strive towards making policies that ensure the following:  

  1. All the citizens of the State, irrespective of the gender of the person, should get equal opportunities to be able to earn a living.
  2. The material resources of the society have to be equally distributed among the communities for the greater good.
  3. The concentration of wealth and means of production are reduced to promote the growth of the economy.
  4. Equal work should pay equally, irrespective of the gender of the person.
  5. The health and strength of citizens cannot be abused based on age, gender. They cannot be forced to work under unfavorable conditions, like work that does not suit their age or gender.
  6. Provide opportunities for the children to have an education, and lead a healthy and decent life, that nobody’s childhood or youth are exploited.  

Article 39A

Equal justice and free legal aid. This article states that the State must ensure that all the legal systems are running justly and equal justice is being provided for all the citizens of the state. Free legal aid should be provided by legislative schemes without discriminating on basis of economic disabilities or any other reason.   

This article was added through the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution.  

Article 40

This article deals with the organization of Village Panchayats. It states that the state shall take steps to organize and facilitate the formation and functioning of Village Panchayats and help them act as a unit of self-governance.  

Article 41

Right to work, education, and public assistance. This article states that, within the state’s economic capability and development, the state must provide provisions for the citizens to get an education, get a job and provide them assistance if unemployed, in old age, sick and disabled, or any other undesirable situations.  

Article 42

Working conditions should be just and humane. This article states that maternity relief should be provided to pregnant women in the form of leaves or medical support or some sort of compensation if they don’t avail any.   

Article 43

This article states that the State should establish organizations that ensure the availability of work in good environments for the citizens, and they have adequate time and opportunity to enjoy their social life and culture. It is also advised to the state to encourage cottage industries at the individual as well as industrial level.  

This article was added through the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution.  

Article 43A

This article states that the State should take proper legislative action in making sure the workers in a company are provided with benefits and the company takes steps for the betterment of the workers.  

Article 44

Uniform Civil Code. This article states that the State should work on setting up a Uniform Civil Code for the citizens of the country.  

Uniform Civil Code is a set of rules that are established as a substitute for personal and religious rules governing the citizens of those religions. These rules would cover issues like marriage, divorce, adoption, inheritance, and maintenance.  

After the Judgements of the Supreme court in the Shah Bano Case and Haji Ali Dargah Case over the demand of entry of women into the Dargah, and several other demands for Temple entry in the country, the demand for a Uniform Civil Code came into the picture.  

Article 45  

Provision of free and compulsory education for children. This article states that the State ensures that all the children are provided with free and compulsory education until they complete the age of 14 years. The State has got 10 years from the commencement of the constitution to achieve this.  

Article 46

Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other weaker sections. This article states that the State should protect backward castes from social and economic exploitation and provide them with the social and economic development of the backward castes.  

Article 47

Duty of the State to improve the standard of living. This article states that the primary duties of the State should be:  

  1. Improving the standard of living of people.
  2. Providing people with quality nutrition.
  3. Work towards improving public health.
  4. Prohibiting consumption of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicating substances except for medical reasons.  

Article 48

Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry. It states that steps should be taken by the State for the organization and development of agriculture and animal husbandry.  

  1. Innovation in science should be applied to improve the quality of crops.
  2. Improving the breeds of animals and prevent the slaughter of cattle that give milk.  

Article 48A

This article states that the State must ensure the protection and improvement of Forests and Wildlife in the country. This article was added through the 42nd amendment to the Indian Constitution.  

Article 49

This article states that the State is obligated towards the protection of all the monuments or places of national interest, artistically or historically important places, that are declared to be so by the Parliament of the country, from destruction, disfiguration, removal, disposal or export.  

Article 50

This article states that the State has to make sure to separate the judiciary from the executive in the matters of public services.  

Article 51

This article states that the State has to work towards the following:  

  1. Conduct cultural or security joint exercises with other nations to promote international security and peace.
  2. Maintain respectable and honorable relations with other nations.
  3. Always respect international laws, treaties, and obligations.
  4. International matters and disputes to be settled via arbitrators.  

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