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Article 51A Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution

In 1976, Swaran Singh Committee recommended Fundamental Duties, the necessity of which was felt during the internal emergency of 1975-77. 10 Fundamental Duties where added inn 43nd Amendment Act of 1976 in the Indian Constitution.The 86th Amendment Act 2002 later added the 11th Fundamental Duty to the list.

Fundamental Duties deals with Article 51A under Part-IV A of the Constitution of Indian. Preparation for UPSC IAS Exam is very important topic for all the three Stage:- Prelims, Mains and Interview.

What are Fundamental Duties?

Fundamental Duties are a set of moral and civic obligations outlined in the Constitution of India, specifically in Article 51A. Enacted through the 42nd Amendment in 1976, these duties are aimed at fostering a sense of responsibility among citizens. They include respecting the nation’s ideals, institutions, and symbols, promoting harmony, and contributing to the well-being of society. While not legally enforceable, Fundamental Duties serve to instill a spirit of patriotism, social consciousness, and ethical behavior among the citizens of India.

Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution

The Fundamental Duties of the Indian Constitution, as enshrined in Article 51A, comprise moral and civic obligations for citizens. These duties, added by the 42nd Amendment in 1976, include respecting the Constitution, promoting harmony, safeguarding public property, and developing a scientific temper. Citizens are also expected to strive towards excellence, uphold the dignity of women, and protect natural environments. Additionally, fostering a spirit of inquiry and reform, safeguarding public property, and exhibiting compassion towards living creatures are integral aspects. While not legally enforceable, these duties aim to cultivate a sense of social responsibility and contribute to the overall welfare of the nation.

Fundamental Duties Article

The Fundamental Duties of citizens in India are enshrined in Article 51A of the Constitution. These duties were added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976. There are originally ten Fundamental Duties, but the 86th Amendment Act, 2002, added one more.

Fundamental Duties in India, under Article 51A, encompass various civic responsibilities. Citizens are obliged to adhere to the Constitution, uphold national unity, and defend the country when needed. They must promote harmony, value cultural heritage, and protect the environment. Developing a scientific temper, respecting public property, and striving for excellence in individual and collective pursuits are also emphasized. Additionally, there’s a duty to provide educational opportunities for children aged six to fourteen, reflecting a commitment to holistic societal progress and individual growth.

Importance of 11 Fundamental Duties

The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976 gave the fundamental duties constitutional protection. There are currently 11 fundamental duties for Indian people to adhere to under the Indian Constitution. What are fundamental duties is described here:

  1. Abide by the Indian Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem
  2. Cherish and follow the noble ideals that inspired the national struggle for freedom
  3. Uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India
  4. Defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so
  5. Promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
  6. Value and preserve the rich heritage of the country’s composite culture
  7. Protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures
  8. Develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform
  9. Safeguard public property and to abjure violence
  10. Strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement
  11. Provide opportunities for education to his child or ward between the age of six and fourteen years. (This duty was added by the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act, 2002)

The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 added the final and eleventh fundamental obligation. It’s interesting to note that the same 86th Constitutional Amendment Act gave children between the ages of 6 and 14 the fundamental right to free and compulsory schooling.

Importance of Fundamental Duties – Part IV-A

It is  an inalienable part of fundamental rights. The importance of these are given in the table below:

S.No Importance of Fundamental Duties
1. They remind Indian Citizens of their duty towards their society, fellow citizens and the nation
2. They warn citizens against anti-national and anti-social activities
3. They inspire citizens & promote a sense of discipline and commitment among them
4. They help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law

List of Fundamental Duties

The table consists of the List of Fundamental Duties that are described in the constitution of India for our citizens.

Article Provisions
51 A (a) Respect for the National Flag, the National Anthem, the Constitution’s principles, and its institutions.
51 A (b) To honour and uphold the great principles that motivated our nation’s fight for freedom.
51 A (c) To safeguard and defend India’s sovereignty, unification, and integrity
51 A (d) To protect the nation and provide for its needs when necessary.
51 A (e) To promote peace and a feeling of unity among all Indians, whatever their differences in religion, language, location, or section; to condemn behaviours that are disrespectful of women’s dignity.
51 A (f) To honour and protect the rich cultural history of our diverse culture.
51 A (g) To respect, preserve, and enhance the natural world, especially its woods, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, as well as to have empathy for all living things.
51 A (h) To promote humanism, a culture of inquiry and reform, and a scientific mindset.
51 A (i) Protecting public property and rejecting violence.
51 A (j) To pursue excellence in all areas of personal and societal endeavour so that the country continuously advances in effort and achievement.
51 A (k) The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 introduced the responsibility for parents and guardians to offer their children, as the case may be, opportunities for education between the ages of six and fourteen.

Swaran Singh Committee Recommendations (1976)

It advised adding a separate chapter on essential obligations to the Constitution. It emphasized the need for citizens to understand that they have obligations beyond simply exercising their rights, and it proposed adding eight Fundamental Duties to the Constitution. The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act, which introduced Part IVA to the Constitution, was passed in 1976 after the Central Government adopted these proposals.

One article, Article 51A, which for the first time outlined a list of the ten essential obligations of citizens, makes up the entire new section. It’s interesting to note that some of the Committee’s suggestions weren’t adopted and weren’t included in the Constitution, including:

  • The imposition of any penalty or punishment that the Parliament of India deems suitable for failing to comply with or refusing to uphold any of the duties may be provided for.
  • No law that imposes such a penalty or punishment may be challenged in court on the grounds that it violates one or more Fundamental Rights or is inconsistent with another article of the Constitution.
  • Additionally, citizens should have a fundamental obligation to pay taxes.

86th Amendment 2002

Article 21A was inserted into the Indian Constitution as part of the 86th Constitutional Amendment in 2002. It specifies that “the State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children aged six to fourteen years in such a manner as the State may by law determine.”

The following clause (k) was inserted into Article 51A after clause (j), reading “who is a parent or guardian to provide educational opportunities to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the ages of six and fourteen years.

” It established parents’ essential responsibility to give their kids access to educational possibilities. Check here the significance of the Right to Education here.

Fundamental Duties in India

Fundamental Duties cannot be justified, in contrast to Fundamental Rights. The Russian Constitution served as a model for the concept and language of fundamental obligations in the Indian Constitution (erstwhile USSR). A committee headed by Sardar Swaran Singh was established by the Indian government to examine the situation regarding India’s core obligations. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added 10 fundamental duties of indian constitution. The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 later added the eleventh fundamental duty to the list. The Swaran Singh Committee suggested the adoption of Fundamental Duties in 1976 after they were deemed necessary amid the internal problems of 1975–1977. Under Part-IV A of the Constitution of India, Article 51A addresses the Fundamental Duties.

Fundamental Duties Features

The Fundamental Duties are stated to be non-justifiable in nature, which implies that, unlike Fundamental Rights, they are not said to be enforced by the courts. While some fundamental rights are granted to both citizens and foreigners, only Indian nationals are subject to some fundamental obligations. Even though they are not directly enforceable under Part IVA, these obligations can nonetheless be enforced in a secondary manner due to the existence of other laws that regulate such conduct. For instance, the 1971 Prevention of Insults to National Honor Act forbids the degradation of or disrespect to any National emblem of India.

Facts about Fundamental Duties for UPSC:

  • Fundamental Duties are categorized into two – Moral Duty & Civic Duty
    1. Moral Duty: cherishing noble ideals of freedom struggle
    2. Civic Duty: respecting the Constitution, National Flag and National Anthem
  • They essentially contain just a codification of tasks integral to the Indian way of life.
  • The Fundamental Duties are confined to Indian citizens only and do not extend to foreigners, unlike a few Fundamental Rights.
  • They are also nonjusticiable similar to the Directive Principles of State Policy.
  • There is no legal sanction against their violation.

Fundamental Duties Criticism

The Fundamental Duties mentioned in Part IVA of the Constitution have been criticized on the following grounds:

  • They have been described by critics as a code of moral precepts due to their non-justiciable character. Their inclusion in the Constitution was described by the critics as superfluous. This is because the duties included in the Constitution as fundamental would be performed by the people even though they were not incorporated into the Constitution.
  • Some of the duties are vague, ambiguous and difficult to be understood by the common man.
  • The list of duties is not exhaustive as it does not cover other important duties like casting votes, paying taxes, family planning and so on. In fact, the duty to pay taxes was recommended by the Swaran Singh Committee.
  • The critics said that the inclusion of fundamental duties as an appendage to Part IV of the Constitution has reduced their value and significance. They should have been added after Part III so as to keep them on par with Fundamental Rights.
  • Swaran Singh’s Committee recommended more than 10 Fundamental Duties, however, not all were included in the Constitution. Those duties recommended by the committee which were not accepted were:
    1. Citizens to be penalized/punished by the parliament for any non-compliance with or refusal to observe any of the duties.
    2. The punishments/penalties decided by the Parliament shall not be called in question in any court on the ground of infringement of any of Fundamental Rights or on the ground of repugnancy to any other provision of the Constitution.
    3. Duty to pay taxes.

Difference between fundamental rights and fundamental duties

Here’s a compressed table highlighting the key differences between Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties in India:

Aspect Fundamental Rights Fundamental Duties
Nature Individual liberties Moral and ethical obligations
Enforceability Justiciable (enforceable) Non-justiciable (not enforceable)
Scope Individual freedoms Collective responsibilities
Origin Part of the original Constitution Added through amendments
Amendments Subject to amendments Minimal amendments

Fundamental Duties for UPSC

Fundamental Duties in the context of the UPSC CSE Exam refer to a significant topic within the Indian Constitution that candidates often need to be familiar with when preparing for the civil services examination.

Fundamental Duties are a set of moral and ethical responsibilities outlined in Article 51A of the Indian Constitution. They were added by the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, inspired by the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. These duties are non-justiciable, meaning they cannot be legally enforced through the courts, but they are intended to promote civic consciousness and a sense of responsibility among citizens towards the nation.

Candidates appearing for the IAS Exam should be well-versed in the 11 Fundamental Duties that include responsibilities such as respecting the Constitution and national symbols, promoting harmony and the spirit of inquiry, protecting public property, and upholding the unity and integrity of the country, among others.

Understanding Fundamental Duties is crucial for aspirants as questions related to these duties can appear in various parts of the UPSC CSE Exam, including the General Studies (GS) paper and the Essay paper. A thorough understanding of these duties helps candidates demonstrate their awareness of civic responsibilities and ethical principles, which is an important aspect of the examination’s evaluation.

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Fundamental Duties FAQs

What are Fundamental Duties and its explanation?

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India.

What is Fundamental Duties in Indian Constitution?

Fundamental Duties are categorized into two – Moral Duty & Civic Duty. Moral Duty: cherishing noble ideals of freedom struggle. Civic Duty: respecting the Constitution, National Flag and National Anthem.

What is the difference between fundamental rights and duties?

Fundamental Rights are basic human rights guaranteed by the Constitution of a country to its citizens. Fundamental Duties are the moral obligation bestowed upon the citizens to uphold unity in diversity and promote the spirit of patriotism.

How many Fundamental Duties are explain in our Constitution?

Originally ten fundamental duties were listed. Later on, by virtue of 86th Constitution the Amendment in year 2002, 11th duty was added.

What is meant by Fundamental Duties?

The Fundamental Duties are defined as the moral obligations of all citizens to help promote a spirit of patriotism and to uphold the unity of India. These duties set out in Part IV–A of the Constitution, concern individuals and the nation.

Which Constitution deals with Fundamental Duties?

By the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution, adopted in 1976, Fundamental Duties of the citizens have also been enumerated. Article 51 'A', contained in Part IV A of the Constitution deals with Fundamental Duties.

Why were Fundamental Duties?

Fundamental duties are intended to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen that while the constitution specifically conferred on them certain Fundamental Rights, it also requires citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct and democratic behaviour because rights and duties are co-relative.

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