The Directive Principles of State Policy are guidelines to the central and state governments of India, to be kept in mind while framing laws and policies. These provisions, contained in Part IV of the Constitution of India, are not enforceable by any court, but the principles laid down therein are considered fundamental in the governance of the country, making it the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws to establish a just society in the country. The principles have been inspired by the Directive Principles given in the Constitution of Ireland and also by the principles of Gandhism; and relate to social justice, economic welfare, foreign policy, and legal and administrative matters.
Directive Principles are classified under the following categories: Gandhian, economic and socialistic, political and administrative, justice and legal, environmental, protection of monuments and peace and security.
Read Also: Schedules in Constitution of India
The concept of Directive Principles of State Policy was borrowed from the Irish Constitution. The makers of the Constitution of India were influenced by the Irish nationalist movement. Hence, the Directive Principles of the Indian constitution have been greatly influenced by the Directive Principles of State Policy. The idea of such policies “can be traced to the Declaration of the Rights of Man proclaimed by Revolutionary France and the Declaration of Independence by the American Colonies.” The Indian constitution was also influenced by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
List of DPSPs under Indian Constitution
Article No.: What it says
Article 36: Defines State as same as Article 12 unless the context otherwise defines.
Article 37: Application of the Principles contained in this part.
Article 38: It authorizes the state to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of people.
Article 39: Certain principles of policies to be followed by the state.
Article 39A: Equal justice and free legal aid.
Article 40: Organization of village panchayats.
Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.
Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity leaves.
Article 43: Living wage etc. for workers.
Article 43A: Participation of workers in management of industries.
Article 43B: Promotion of cooperative societies.
Article 44: Uniform civil code for the citizens.
Article 45: Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years.
Article 46: Promotion of education and economic interests of SC, ST, and other weaker sections.
Article 47: Duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
Article 48: Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.
Article 48A: Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife.
Article 49: Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.
Article 50: Separation of judiciary from the executive.
Article 51: Promotion of international peace and security.
The directive principles ensure that the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by promoting a social order in which social, economic and political justice is informed in all institutions of life. Also, the State shall work towards reducing economic inequality as well as inequalities in status and opportunities, not only among individuals but also among groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations. The State shall aim for securing the right to an adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, both men and women as well as equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
The State should also ensure living wage and proper working conditions for workers, with full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural activities. Also, the promotion of cottage industries in rural areas is one of the obligations of the State. The State shall take steps to promote their participation in the management of industrial undertakings.
The State shall endeavour to secure a uniform civil code for all citizens, and provide free and compulsory education to all children till they attain the age of 14 years. This directive regarding the education of children was added by the 86th Amendment Act, 2002. It should and work for the economic and educational upliftment of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other weaker sections of the society.
Welfare schemes for the weaker sections are being implemented both by the Central and State governments. These include programmes such as boys’ and girls’ hostels for scheduled castes’ or scheduled tribes’ students. The year 1990-1991 was declared as the “Year of Social Justice” in the memory of B.R. Ambedkar. The government provides free textbooks to students belonging to scheduled castes or scheduled tribes pursuing medicine and engineering courses.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 provides for the better protection of consumers. The act is intended to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers’ grievances, award relief and compensation wherever appropriate to the consumer. The Equal Remuneration Act of 1976, provides for equal pay for equal work for both men and women. The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana was launched in 2001 to attain the objective of gainful employment for the rural poor. The programme was implemented through the Panchayati Raj institutions.
India’s Foreign Policy has also to some degree been influenced by the DPSPs. India has in the past condemned all acts of aggression and has also supported the United Nations’ peace-keeping activities. By 2004, the Indian Army had participated in 37 UN peace-keeping operations. India played a key role in the passing of a UN resolution in 2003, which envisaged better cooperation between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries. India has also been in favour of nuclear disarmament.