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Part IV of the Constitution of India (Article 36–51) contains the Directive Principles of State Policy. DPSP are the principles that direct the state when it makes policies for its people. DPSPs are taken from the Irish Constitution. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar described these principles as ‘novel features‘ of the Constitution.
These DPSP act as a guideline for the state/government and are needed to be taken into consideration while coming up with any new law but a citizen cannot compel the state to follow DPSPs. These principles emphasize that the State shall try to promote the welfare of people by providing them basic facilities like shelter, food and clothing etc.
These are non – justiciable rights but help courts in examining and determining the validity of Law.
Directive Principles of State Policy – Classification
Indian Constitution has not originally classified DPSPs but on the basis of its content and principles, are usually classified into three types-
- Socialistic Principles,
- Gandhian Principles and,
- Liberal-Intellectual Principles
Directives based on Socialist Principles
These principles talk about the ideology of socialism and lay down the framework of a democratic socialist state. These are the principles with the aim and goal to provide social and economic justice in society and to set the path towards the welfare state. They direct the state through the following articles:
- Article 38: The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting a social order by ensuring social, economic and political justice and by minimizing inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities.
- Articles 39: The State shall make its policies to secure:
- Right to an adequate means of livelihood to all the citizens.
- The ownership and control of material resources shall be organised in a manner to serve the common good.
- The State shall avoid concentration of wealth in a few hands.
- Equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
- The protection of the strength and health of the workers.
- Childhood and youth shall not be exploited.
- Article 41: the right to work, right to education and right to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disability.
- Article 42: The State shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
- Article 43: The State shall endeavour to secure to all workers a living wage and a decent standard of life.
- Article 43A: The State shall take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries.
- Article 47: To raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people and to improve public health.
Directives based on Gandhian Principles
These principles are based on Mahatma Gandhi’s views. In order to fulfil the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, some of his ideas were included in DPSP and they directs the state through the following articles:
- Article 40: The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats as units of Self Government
- Article 43: The State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas.
- Article 43B: To promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of cooperative societies.
- Article 46: The State shall promote educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people particularly that of the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and other weaker sections.
- Article 47: The State shall take steps to improve public health and prohibit consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs that are injurious to health.
- Article 48: To prohibit the slaughter of cows, calves and other milch and draught cattle and to improve their breeds.
Directives based on Liberal-Intellectual Principles
These principles are inclined towards the ideology of liberalism and they direct the state through the following articles:
- Article 44: The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizen a Uniform Civil Code through the territory of India.
- Article 45: To provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
- Article 48: To organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines.
- Article 48A: To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
- Article 49: The State shall protect every monument or place of artistic or historic interest.
- Article 50: The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
- Article 51: It declares that to establish international peace and security the State shall endeavour(try hard) to:
- Maintain just and honourable relations with the nations.
- Foster(encourage) respect for international law and treaty obligations.
- Encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
The new DPSPs added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976
Four new Directive Principles were added in the list by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 are mentioned below:
- Article 39 – To secure opportunities for the healthy development of children.
- Article 39A – To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor.
- Article 43A – To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries.
- Article 48A – To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife.
Some more facts about Directive Principles of State Policy:
- A new DPSP under Article 38 was added by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978, which requires the State to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities.
- The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 changed the subject-matter of Article 45 and made elementary education a fundamental right under Article 21A.
Criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy
The criticisms of Directive Principles of State Policy have been a matter of debate and they are as follows:
- It has no legal force
- It is illogically arranged
- It is conservative in nature.
- It may produce constitutional conflict between centre and state
Relationship between DPSP and FR
It has been a matter of debate about the relationship between FR & DPSP, earlier it was thought that DPSP is subordinate to FR as FR are enforceable in the court of law but not the dpsp. And in the case of any conflict between them fundamental rights shall prevail and DPSP should comply with FR in all conditions.
But with the changing time many decisions were passed by the supreme court which changed the perspective about the relationship between FR and DPSP. The Supreme Court stated that both Part III and IV of the constitution are supplementary and complementary to each and there is no chance of arising conflict between them. They are elastic enough so their scope can widen with the changing needs of society.
Later also recognised by the court that both part III and IV goes hand in hand, FR’s is the means to achieve the end goal that which is given in form of DPSP. Courts have used the DPSP not to restrict but rather to expand the ambit of fundamental rights.
Such as earlier the right to education was the part of DPSP and with the 86th amendment it was made part of FR. So here we can clearly see that the end/goal is DPSP and means to achieve is fundamental right.
The main goal of the Directive Principles of State Policy is to establish good social and economic conditions that allow citizens to live better and happy life.
Though the Directive Principles are not enforceable by law. they are non-justiciable rights i.e. people cannot move to the court and demand to implement them if the state is unable to meet the expectations like in case of fundamental rights but it is very essential to the government to try honest implementation of these rights to create a welfare state.
it is the State’s responsibility to apply them in drafting legislation/laws, as stated in Article 37. Even other agencies and judiciary should follow these principles in the course of their work.
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