Directive Principles of State Policy/ DPSP : Origin and Features

Directive Principles of State Policy/ DPSP : Origin and Features

Question: Directive Principles of State Policy/DPSP are common in origin and different in terms of coverage from the Fundamental Rights. Discuss.

• Fundamental rights and DPSP are of common origin namely the Nehru Report of 1928 which contained the Swaraj Constitution of India

• This contained fundamental rights as well as others such as right to employment and education which were not enforceable

• Sapru Report of 1945 divided fundamental rights into two namely justifiable and non justifiable rights

• Justifiable rights were enforced by the court of law and included in Part III of the Constitution

• Non justifiable rights were included as directives to states which provide rights to individuals without any guarantee; they were included in part IV of the Constitution of India and called Directive Principles of State Policy


• Directive principles, as the name indicates are principles which give direction in the decision making process of the state

• Guidelines are given by the Constitution of India to the state

• State is defined in A12; it includes Government and Parliament of India and Government as well as Legislature of other states and local authorities under government or within Indian territory

• Basic idea is that the state should follow these directive principles for protecting its citizens

• Difference between Fundamental Rights and DPSP is their enforceability

• DPSP was influenced by the 1937 Irish Constitution which replaced the Free State Constitution of 1922

• A45 of the Irish Constitution contains detailed mention of DPSP

• DPSP was actually also borrowed from the Spanish Constitution

• DPSP are not enforceable by law; State is defined in A12

• Constitution mandates that state should apply these principles in governance
for securing a social order with economic, social and political justice for welfare of persons

• A38 mandates the state shall work to minimise inequality of income, status etc

• A39 states all citizens should have equal rights to means of livelihood

• Equal justice and free legal aid was inserted through A39a by the 42nd AA

• A40 is for the empowerment of Panchayats for local self governance

• A41 states that the state shall make adequate provisions securing right to work, education etc and public assistance in case of unemployment, old age etc

• A42 states that state shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions for work as well as maternity relief

• A43 is for securing legislations or economic organisations to ensure workers get access to decent standard of living

• A43 a inserted by the 42nd AA indicates that state should take steps to secure participation of workers in management of undertakings, establishments or organisations

• Article 44 is regarding the uniform civil code throughout the territory of India

• Article 45 indicates that State should provide within 10 years from commencement of Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they are 14 years of age. The RTE act stems from this DPSP

• Article 46 mentions special care for protecting the educational and economic interests of underprivileged sections of society, particularly SC and ST

• A47 indicates that State should regard the raising of level of nutrition and standard of living of its people and improvement of public health as primary duties

• A48 aims to organise animal husbandry and agriculture on modern, scientific lines and preserve cows, cattle, milch and draught cattle

• A48a was added through the 42nd AA to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests

• A49: State should protect monument, place of artistic or historic interest

• A50 indicates state should separate judiciary from executive in public services of state

• A51 is for enabling the state to promote international peace and security

Facts and Stats

• DPSP has also been inspired by Gandhian philosophy

• UN’s UNHR/Universal Declaration of Human Rights has also inspired DPSP

• DPSP aims to safeguard the social and economic lives of citizens

• State should promote the welfare of its citizens for securing social, economic and political justice as per DPSP
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