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Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) Meaning, Articles, Features, Importance

What is DPSP?

The principles that guide the state as it creates policies for its citizens are known as Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP). These DPSP serve as a guide for the state and must be taken into account when drafting any new laws, but a citizen has no legal authority to compel the state to adhere to the DPSP.

Part IV of the Indian Constitution lists the Directive Principles of State Policy, popularly known as the DPSP, from Articles 36 to Article 51. The Directive Principles of State Policy, which are discussed in this article, are included in the UPSC Syllabus of Indian Polity and Governance.

Read about: Salient Features of Constitution of India

Directive Principles of State Policy History

The directives provided in the Government of India Act 1935, were integrated as Directive Principles of State Policy into the Indian Constitution in 1950.

This notion was taken up by the Constitution’s drafters from the 1937 Irish Constitution, which itself had been influenced by the Spanish Constitution. The Directive Principles of Social Policy have had a significant impact on the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution.

Read about: Monetary Policy

DPSP Importance

The founding fathers were aware of the problems the nation had been facing, including social, economic, and political regressiveness, unemployment, poverty, and a lack of education. They outlined the principles and goals to be accomplished in the very preamble in order to abolish these ills. The goal of the constitution’s creators was to promote political, economic, and social democracy in India.

The framers agreed that the people should have access to virtually all of the current political, social, and economic rights in order to realize this cherished aim. These rights could be broadly split into two groups.

  • Political and Civil Rights
  • Social and Economic Rights

Political and civil rights that, in the opinion of the individual, were within his or her reach were designated as provisional Fundamental Rights, while the latter were referred to as Directive Principles of State Policy because they were deemed to be beyond the individual’s reach under the then-current conditions.

DPSP Features

DPSP was referred to as the Constitution’s innovative element by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights together make up the Constitution’s philosophy and core. The Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles were referred to by Granville Austin as the “Conscience of the Constitution.”

The state should keep these ideals in mind while creating policy and passing legislation. The DPSP assists the state in developing its economic, social, and political programmes. The state is assisted by DPSP in establishing economic and social democracy. Although they are not actionable, they aid courts in assessing and determining the legality of laws.

List of Directive Principles of State Policy

Below given is the complete list of all the articles under Directive Principles of State Policy:

Article  Meaning
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 43-A Participation of workers in management of industries.
Article 43-B 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 48-A 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.

DPSP Classification

Although our Constitution does not expressly classify directive principles of state policy, they can be divided into three groups based on their substance and intended use, as follows:

  • Socialistic Principles
  • Gandhian Principles
  • Liberal-Intellectual Principles

1. Socialistic Principles

These are the guiding ideas that seek to establish socioeconomic justice in society and pave the way for a welfare state. These guiding principles examine the socialist school and define the framework of a democratic socialist state. The main goal is to reduce disparities in income, position, resources, and opportunities (Article 38).

Through a number of Articles, they give the state directives, including Article 39 A, “Promote Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid to the Poor.”

  • Article 42- Provide for fair and decent working conditions and maternity leave;
  • Along with numerous other articles, such as Articles 38, 39, 41, 43, and 43A, Article 47 aims to improve public health through raising people’s standards of living and nutrition.

DPSP: Socialistic Principles

Definition: They are the guiding ideas that pave the way for the welfare state and seek to provide social and economic fairness. There are several provisions that instruct the state to:
Article 38 Ensure social order through social, economic, and political justice while minimising disparities in wealth, status, access to resources, and opportunity to better one’s lot in life.
Article 39 Equal pay for equal work for men and women; protection of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse; opportunities for the healthy development of children; the right to an adequate standard of living for all citizens; an equitable distribution of the community’s material resources for the good of all; and the prevention of concentration of wealth and production.
Article 39A Promote equal justice and free legal aid to the poor
Article 41 Ensure citizens have the following rights in circumstances of unemployment, old age, illness, and disability: the right to work; the right to education; and the right to public assistance.
Article 42 Make provisions for fair and compassionate working conditions and maternity leave.
Article 43 Ensure that all workers receive a living wage, a good standard of living, and access to social and cultural opportunities.
Article 43A Take action to ensure that employees are involved in the management of industries.
Article 47 Raising people’s standards of living, nutrition, and nutrition, and enhancing public health

2. Gandhian Principles

These ideas, which are based on Gandhian ideology, embody the reconstruction plan put forth by Mahatma Gandhi during the national movement. Some of Mahatma Gandhi’s aspirations were incorporated into the Directive Principles of State Policy, which guide the State through Articles such:

  • Article 43: Individual or corporate promotion of cottage businesses in rural areas;
  • Article 47: Prohibits the use of medicines and alcoholic beverages that are harmful to health;
  • Article 48: Articles 40, 43B, and 46 prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves, and other milch and draught animals and work to enhance their breeds.

DPSP: Gandhian Principles

Definition: These ideas, which serve as a representation of Gandhi’s reconstruction plan put forth during the national struggle, are based on Gandhian ideology. There are several articles that instruct the state to:
Article 40 Establish village panchayats and give them the necessary authority and abilities to function as self-governing entities.
Article 43 Promote cottage industry in rural areas on an individual or cooperative basis.
Article 43B Encourage the establishment of cooperative organisations that operate independently, democratically, and with professional management.
Article 46 Promote the economic and educational goals of SCs, STs, and other marginalised groups in order to safeguard them against social injustice and exploitation.
Article 47 Impose restrictions on the use of harmful substances and alcoholic beverages.
Article 48 preventing the slaughter of cows, calves, and other milch and draught animals while also attempting to improve the breeds

3. Liberal-Intellectual Principles

These beliefs are a reflection of liberalism’s philosophy. They provide the state specific instructions under several articles, such as Article 44, which says to “secure for all citizens a uniform civil code across the country.”

  • Article 48—Organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern, scientific lines;
  • Article 48A; Article 49; Article 50; and Article 51—Provide early childhood care and education for all children until they reach the age of six;

DPSP – Liberal-Intellectual Principles

Definition: These beliefs are a reflection of liberalism’s philosophy. There are several articles that instruct the state to:
Article 44 Ensure a standard civil code for all citizens across the nation.
Article 45 All children should get early childhood care and instruction up until the age of six. (Note: The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 changed the focus of this article and included primary education to Article 21 A’s list of fundamental rights.)
Article 48 Establish a sophisticated, scientific system of animal husbandry and agriculture.
Article 49 the preservation of landmarks, locations, and historic or cultural objects that have been designated as being of national significance
Article 50 Separate the executive branch of government from the judicial branch in state public services
Article 51 Encourage the use of arbitration to resolve international disputes; Foster respect for international law and treaty obligations; Maintain just and honourable relations between nations.

DPSP Implementation

A new provision, Article 21-A, was added to the Constitution as part of the 86th constitutional amendment in 2002. It aims to provide all children between the ages of 6 and 14 with free and mandatory education. The Right to Education (RTE) is currently in effect as well.

Both the federal and state governments are implementing welfare programs for the less fortunate. The Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989 was passed by the government to safeguard scheduled castes and scheduled tribes from atrocities and prescribed harsh penalties for such atrocities.

The Minimum Salaries Act of 1948 gives the government the authority to set minimum wages for workers in a variety of professions. Equal compensation for equal work is guaranteed under the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976 for both men and women.

The Constitution’s 73rd and 74th Amendments provide (1991 & 1992 respectively). Since receiving constitutional status and additional authority, Panchayati Raj has expanded to nearly all states and Union Territories. In all criminal proceedings, legal help at the state’s expense must be provided if the defendant cannot afford to hire an attorney.

All States and Union Territories, with the exception of Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland, have established judicial-executive separation. The DPSP has had some effect on Indian foreign policy as well. India has previously denounced all acts of violence and supported the UN’s peacekeeping missions. India has supported nuclear disarmament as well.

DPSP Criticism

The critics said that these directions lack legal authority when they are put into practice. There is no legal recourse for the infringement of these standards. They are only assertions of intentions that the State should carry out; the Constitution neither makes them justiciable nor specifies a deadline for securing them. They are “a cheque payable by the bank at its convenience,” says critic T. Shah.”

The DPSP is not entirely clear. For instance, the Directive Principle, which aims to foster world peace and amicable cooperation among all nations, lacks clear implementation requirements.

Some of the principles lack applicability. Some of the recommendations in Part IV cannot be put into practice in the real world. Prohibition was instituted in Haryana, but it proved to be nearly impossible to carry out. As a result, the Haryana Government was forced to abandon it. Due of the practical challenges associated with implementing prohibition, legislation cannot be used to enforce prohibition.

Due to its inclusion of ancient and foreign intellectual underpinnings built around Fabian Socialist, which nearly lost all relevance in the modern world, Directive Principles is being questioned. Many detractors believe that their listing in Part IV has made matters more difficult to understand because the Preamble of Indian Constitution makes explicit the ideals outlined here. Directive principles are intended to act as pious vows to convey the idea of the reasonable and beneficial use of political power. By making promises rather than taking action, they hope to gain support.


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Directive Principles of State Policy FAQs

What is meant by directive principles of state policy in India?

These stipulate that the State must work to advance the welfare of its citizens by establishing and upholding, to the best of its ability, a social order in which justice—political, social, and economic—shall be reflected in all spheres of national life.

What is directive principles of state policy Ncert?

The right to education, the establishment of panchayati raj institutions across the nation, the job guarantee program's partial right to work, the midday meal programme, and other directive principles are only a few examples.

What are the characteristics of directive principles of state policy?

Prevention of wealth and production means concentration is one of the traits of directive principles of state policy.

What are the three types of directive principles?

The three types of directive principles are as follows 1 Socialist 2 Gandhian 3 Liberal Intellectual.

What is the main purpose of directive principles of state policy?

Economic fairness and preventing the concentration of wealth in the hands of a select few people are the primary goals of the Directive Principle of State Policy outlined in Part 4 of the Indian Constitution.

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