Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) – Explained


This write-up takes you through the Directive Principles of State Policy and all the details pertaining to them.

We have penned down several pieces of information such as what are DPSP, their features, significance, classification, and their implementation.

Moreover, we have listed down all the Directive Principles for you to go through.

What are the Directive Principles of State Policy?

In 1945, two categories of individual rights were suggested by the Sapru committee. The two categories ideated were the justiciable and the non-justiciable rights.

The justiciable rights are attributed as fundamental rights. On the contrary, non-justiciable rights are the Directive Principles of State Policy.

The Directive Principles of State Policy are the ideals which the states have to keep in mind while formulating their policies and enacting laws.

The Fundamental Rights and DPSPs are considered to form the Constitution’s soul.

Under the preamble, DPSPs are the kernel of the Constitution and reflect the overall objectives as which are laid down in the Preamble of India.

Definition of Directive Principle of State Policy

“They are the ‘instrument of instructions’ which is enumerated in the Government of India Act, 1935. They seek to establish economic and social democracy in the country. DPSPs are ideals which are not legally enforceable by the courts for their violation.”

Under part IV of the Indian Constitution, Articles 36 to 51 deals with the Directive Principles of State Policy.

DPSPs have been borrowed from the Irish constitution. They are established by the central and state government and are the fundamentals to establish a just society and considered the duty of the state to adhere to the principles.

What significance does the Directive Principles of State Policy hold?

Article 37 describes these Directive Principles as fundamentals in the country’s governance.

These principles have the objective to improve the social and economic condition of society and promote better living standards.

Directive Principles can be used to measure government performance and determine the scope of lacking.

It also puts certain constraints on the power of the states on making laws.

Various judicial pronouncements have settled that these principles and fundamental rights should be balanced to maintain the sanctity of the state functioning.

Avoiding or not adhering to Directive Principles could affect the fundamental rights which are one of the most essential elements of the Constitution of India.

What are the categories of the classification of Directive Principles of State Policy?

Although the Indian Constitution has not officially original classified the Directive Principles, based on the content they have been classified.

The Directive Principles have been classified into three categories which are as follows:

Social and Economic Principles

These principles have their contribution to shaping our country into a welfare state.

The principles categorized as socialist and economic promote the Welfare of the people by securing and protecting social, economic and political justice.

These principles direct to minimize inequalities and secure the social order in society.

International Principles

The article categorised as International principles layout the provisions to the states which relates to ensuring international peace and security.

According to the international principles, the state shall attempt to maintain just and relationship between Nations and promote international peace and security.

Also, they have to encourage the settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

The states have the duty to make provisions that foster respect for international law and treaty of applications as well.

Gandhian Principles

Article 40, 43, 47 and 48 enjoined under the Gandhian principles lays out the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi which he followed during his lifetime.

These principles have been implemented to fulfill the dream of Mahatma Gandhi through these ideal.

Organization and empowerment of village panchayats and promotion of cottage industries in rural areas come under these principles.

Also, the state has a duty to promote the educational and economic interests of the weaker section.

The provision of cows and useful cattle slaughter and organisation of agricultural and animal husbandry are also laid out through these principles.

How are the Directive Principles of State Policy Implemented?

Various efforts have been made by the states to implement the Directive Principles of State Policies.

State governments are charged to make effective provisions and have taken various steps coloured by these Directive principles.

The implementations are as follows:-

  • The provision of free and compulsory education to the children aged 16 to 14 years have been implemented now under the right to education
  • Both Central and state government have implemented welfare schemes for the weaker sections of the society
  • According to the minimum wages act of 1948, the government has fixed minimum wages for employees engaged in various forms of employment
  • The equal remuneration act of 1976 lays out provisions for equal pay for both men and women for equal work
  • Judiciary and executive in all the states and union territories have been separated except Nagaland and Jammu and Kashmir
  • Legal aid has been made compulsory in all the cases which pertain to criminal law at the expense of the state if the accused is not financially sound to engage a lawyer
  • The Indian government has condemned all the acts of aggression and supported the United Nations peacekeeping activities
  • The Jagirdari and Zamindari system have been abolished by the introduction of Land Reforms

List of Directive Principles of State Policy

The Directive Principles impose a moral obligation of their following and application by the state authorities.

Furnished below is the list of 20 Directive Principles of State Policy.

Article 36States the definition of State as provided by Article 12 unless otherwise defined by the context
Article 37Furnishes about the principles this part contains
Article 38Promote people welfare by securing social order through social, economic and political justice
Article 39Secure citizens: the right to adequate livelihood resources for the common good, promotes equitable material resource distribution prevents wealth concentration and means of production equal pay for equal work (men and women) Healthy children development opportunities
Article 39AEquality and justice and free legal aid
Article 40The organisation of village panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority
Article 41In the case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, secure the right to work, education and public assistance
Article 42Lays provisions for just and human work conditions and maternity leaves
Article 43Provisions for living wages etc. for the workers
Article 43-AEnsure the participation of workers in the  management of industries
Article 43-BPromote the formation, functioning, control and professional management of co-operative societies
Article 44Uniform civil code for the citizens throughout the country
Article 45Early childhood care and education below six years of age
Article 46Promote the educational economic interest of minority and weaker sections of the society
Article 47Raise nutrition level and living standard along with improving public health
Article 48The organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines
Article 48-AProtect and improve the environment and safeguard forest and wildlife
Article 49Protect monuments, places and objects holding national importance
Article 50Separates the judiciary from the executive
Article 51Promotes international peace and security and foster respect for international treaty obligations and law

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