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Directive Principle of State Policy

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Explain Directive Principle of State Policy

The Directive Principle of State Policy has been derived from the Irish Constitution and makers of our Indian Constitution have included these principles in Part IV of the constitution from Article 36 to Article 51. These principles were extremely important in the governance of the country which exemplify the hopes and aspirations of the people.


The concept behind the Directive Principles of State Policy is to create a ‘Welfare State’. In other words, the motive behind creating the directive policy is not just establishing political democracy rather establishing social and economic democracy in the state. The state must follow these directive principles both in the matter of administration as well as while formulating laws because the Directive Principles aim to create a state where social and economic democracy might flourish. Read the article below to understand the meaning of directive policy clearly.


Meaning of Directive Principle of State Policy

Directive Principles are certain rules, specifically aiming at socio-economic justice, which according to the makers of the Indian Constitution should aim for.


According to Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the Directive Principles is determined as the “Novel Feature” of the constitution. They aim to provide general instructions, guidelines, or directions to the state. Directive Principle symbolizes the aspiration of people, objectives, and ideals which the Union and State Government must be aware of while formulating laws and policies.


According to the Sanskrit scholar L.M. Singhvi, the Directive Principles of State Policy are stimulating provisions of the Indian Constitution. They exemplify the Philosophy of social justice incorporated in the Indian Constitution. Although Directive Principles are not legally bound by the court, they, however, play a crucial role in the governance of a country. The formulates a code of conduct for the legislative, administrators, and executives of India to implement these responsibilities in compliance with these ideals.


Features of Directive Principles of State Policy

Before jumping to the features of the DPSPs, we should go through the concerned Article mentioned in the Constitution which states down the characteristics of the DPSPs.


Article 37: Application of the principles contained in Part IV. The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.


Thus, the following points signify the features of directive principles of State Policy:


  • DPSP are Non - Justiciable; Supported By Public Opinion: The Directive Principles are non - justiciable. Legal sanctions do not support Directive Principles. However, these are supported by public opinion which in reality is also the legal sanction behind the law.

  • DPSP Provides Welfare of People: The Directive Principles strive to enhance the welfare of the people by attaining a social order in which social, economical, and political conditions are informed in all institutions of life as per Article (38) of the Indian Constitution.

  • DSPS Act as a Yardstick for Measuring Governments Worth: Directive Principles act as a yardstick through which the people should measure the worth of the government. A government that does not implement the Directive Principles can be rejected by the people in favour of the Government by another political party that is expected to provide the required importance and value to the task of attaining Directive Principles.

  • DSPS are Source of Continuity in Policies: Directive principles are like a source of continuity in policies, in which the Government changes after a few years and every new Government makes different policies and laws of the country. The presence of such guidelines is significant because it ensures that every Government will follow the set of rules in the form of DSPS while formulating its laws.

  • DSPS are Supplementary To Fundamental Rights: DSPS can be considered as the positive directions for the state which helps in attaining the social and economical dimensions of democracy. DSPS are supplementary to Fundamental rights which grants political rights and other freedom. Directive Principles and Fundamental rights are nothing without each other as one provides social and economical rights whereas the other provides political rights.

  • DSPS Constitute Policy of Nation: Directive Principle constitutes a policy of the nation. These principles emulate the ideas and views which were there in the mind of drafters while formulating the constitution. This reflects the philosophy behind making the constitution hence providing useful information to the court in interpreting and existing confusion and in turning up with better laws and policies.


Types and Provisions of DPSPs

Though the Constitution of India does not make any kind of classification of the DPSPs, we can classify them as per the classification given by Prof. M.P. Sharma:


Socialistic Principles

These are the principles which are said to be focused on the establishment of the egalitarian society.


Article 38

State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people

  • (1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life

  • (2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations. ( inserted by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act 1978 )

Article 39

The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing

  1. That the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to livelihood;

  2. That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;

  3. That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;

  4. That there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;

  5. That the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;

  6. That children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment (added by the 42nd Amendment 1976).


Article 41

Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.


Article 42

Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.


Article 43

Living wage, etc, for workers The State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co operative basis in rural areas.


Article 43A

The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisations engaged in any industry (added by the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act 1976).


Article 43(B)

The State to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies (added by the 97thConstitution Amendment Act 2011).


Gandhian Principles

The principles which are said to be based on the ideology of Gandhi, are known as Gandhian Principles.


Article 40

The state provides for the establishment of Panchayat Raj Institutions and endows them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self government.


Article 43

The State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co operative basis in rural areas


Article 46

The state provides for promotion of educational and economic interests of SCs, STs and other weaker sections and protects them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.


Article 47

imposes a primary duty on the state to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living, to improve public health and to prohibit consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs injurious for health except for medicinal purposes.


Article 48

directs the state to provide for the organization of agriculture and animal husbandry and prohibition of cow slaughter.

Liberal Principles:

The principles which are said to be focused on providing equality, freedom as well as liberty in the Governance are said to be known as liberal principles.


Article 39 (A)

directs the state to provide to all equal access to justice and free legal aid, by suitable legislations or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that the opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by any reason of economic or other liabilities ( added by the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act 1976).


Article 44

directs the state to provide for establishment of a uniform civil code for the whole country.


Article 45

This article originally provided for free and compulsory education for all children up to the age of 14.

The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act 2002 made education a Fundamental Right for children between ages 6 – 14 years, as a consequence of which article 45 was substituted by a new article providing for early child care and education to children.


Article 48A

The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country (added by the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act 1976).


Article 49

It directs the state to provide for protection of National monuments.


Article 50

It directs the state to take steps to separate judiciary from the executive.


Article 51

  1. Promotion of international peace and Security

  2. Just and honourable relations between nations

  3. Respect for international law and treaty obligations

  4. Settlement of international disputes. International treaties do not automatically become a part of the National Law.

Significance of Directive Principles of State Policy

The Directive Principles of State Policy plays a significant role because of the following features:

  • Directive Principles of State Policy are some instructions to the State for attaining socio-economic development.

  • Directive Principles of State Policy are positive. These principles increase the power and nature of the state.

  • Directive Principles aim to establish a welfare state by securing social and economic justice. These principles rely on social thinking.

  • Directive principles are essential for the socio-economic development of a country because welfare and justice are dual aims of our constitution.

  • Directive principles are significant in the governance of a country. The State should follow these principles for the progress of the country.

  • Directive principles aim to reflect public opinion and their determination. They are incorporated in the constitution to meet the aspiration of the people.

  • Directive Principles aim at establishing a welfare state by securing social and economic justice. These principles rely on social thinking.


What is the Purpose of Directive Principles of State Policy?

The purpose of the Directive Principle of State Policy is “ Welfare of State”. The Directive Principles are the standards that the Union and State Government must keep in mind while formulating policies or pass a law. They frame certain social, economical, or political principles, suitable to unusual conditions prevailing in India.


What is the Difference Between Fundamental Principle of State Policy And Directive Principle of State Policy?

  • Fundamental principles are justiciable whereas Directive principles of state policy are non - justiciable. It means a person cannot appeal to the court if his/her fundamental rights are violated whereas people cannot appeal to the court if the Government does not implement the directive principles.

  • Fundamental rights exhibit liberal political democratic policy in India. However, Directive principles make a country a welfare state.

  • Fundamental Rights are said to be negative because they put restraints on the state. On the other hand, Directive principles are affirmative. They announce the duty of the state to attain certain social and economic objectives.

  • Fundamental rights safeguard the interest of the individual whereas the Directive Principles of State Policy seek to enhance social economic equality and specifically provide safeguard to weaker and vulnerable sections of society.


Directive Principles of State Policy Enforceability

The enforceability of Directive Principles of State Policy is a significant question in the minds of Indian citizens. The answer to this is that principles are not enforceable as it is a moral obligation upon the State and not a legal obligation. The State is not legally liable if it does not choose to follow DPSP. The same applies to fundamental duties. However, fundamental rights are enforceable. Article 37 of the Constitution states that Part IV of the Constitution shall not be enforceable by any court of law. However, it is important to note that even though the DPSP is not legal by the court, it is justified by itself.


Conclusion

Directive Principles of State Policy are considered to be important in the governance of a country. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar referred to these principles as novel features because of their non-enforceable. It is significant to note that despite being non-enforceable in nature it is not useless as it provides guidelines to attain the concept of welfare of the state.

Last updated date: 27th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Directive Principle of State Policy

1. Explain directive principles of state policy in brief.

Directive Principles of state policy are the guidelines or principles issued to the state by the constitution to be kept in mind while framing laws and policies.

2. What are the four different categories of Directive Principles of State Policy?

The four different categories of Directive Principles of State Policies are:

  • Economic and Social Principles

  • Directives Based on Gandhian Principles

  • Directive principles and policies relating to international peace and security.

  • Miscellaneous

3. What are the limitations of Directive Principles of State Policy?

  • Directive Principles are non-justiciable in nature. This means that these principles are not legally enforceable by the court for their violation.

  • Directive Principle arises a constitutional conflict between Centre and State, Centre and President, Chief Minister and Governor.

  • Directive principles can be revised to implement fundamental rights.

4. What is the importance of the Directive Principle of State Policy?

Directive principles have great constitutional importance. These principles have been declared to be fundamental in the governance of the country and the State must implement these principles in applying laws (Article 36). Although the directive principles are not enforceable in court, yet no government has any authority to ignore them. Every government should take steps to implement them as far as possible or else it would be blamed on the grounds of non-completion of the directives.