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What are the new DPSPs added by the 42nd Amendment Act 1976?
42nd Amendment Act, 1976 added four new Directive Principles to the list:
Directive Principles of State Policy- 3 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

To read more on the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, aspirants may check the linked article.

Facts about Directive Principles of State Policies:

  • A new DPSP under Article 38 was added by the 44th Amendment Act of 1978, which requires the State to minimize 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. The amended directive requires the State to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years.
  • A new DPSP under Article 43B was added by the 97th Amendment Act of 2011 relating to cooperative societies. It requires the state to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of cooperative societies.
  • The Indian Constitution under Article 37 makes it clear that ‘DPSPs are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws.’

44th Amendment

  • The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 added Article 38(2) to the DPSP.
  • Article 38(2) says that the state shall work to minimize the inequalities in income and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, opportunities, etc., not only amongst individuals but amongst all the groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different fields.

86th Amendment
The 86th Amendment changed the subject of Article 45 in the DPSP and brought it within the ambit of the fundamental rights mentioned in Part III as Article 21-A has been made for children between the age group of 6-14 years of age. The same article was previously a directive principle that says that the State should take care of children who are below six years of age.

97th Amendment
The 97th Amendment act of 2011 inserted Article 43-B in the list of DPSP. It says that the State shall endeavor to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control, and professional management of the cooperative societies.

Enforceability of DPSP
DPSP was not made enforceable by the Constituent Assembly, which was formed to draft the Indian Constitution. But the non-enforceability of the Principles does not mean that they are unimportant.

Some arguments are in favor of its enforceability and some are against the making of DPSP enforceable. Those who favor the enforcement of the Principles argue that the enforceability of DPSPs will keep a check on the Government and would unite India. For instance, Article 44 of the Indian Constitution talks about the Uniform Civil Code, which aims for uniform provisions of civil law for all the citizens of the country irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, or beliefs.

People who are against the enforcement of the DPSPs are of the view that these principles need not be separately enforced as there are already many laws that indirectly implement the provisions mentioned in DPSP. For instance, Article 40 of the Constitution, which deals with the Panchayati Raj system, was introduced through a constitutional amendment, and it is very evident that there are numerous panchayats exist in the country today.

Another argument against DPSP is that it imposes morals and values on the citizens of the country. It should not be clubbed with the law as it is really important to grasp that law and morals area unit various things. If we impose one on the opposite, that will generally impede the expansion and development of society.

Importance of DPSP
DPSP covers Articles 36-51 in Part IV of the constitution.

It mentions the protection of women in the country, environmental conservation, rural growth and development, decentralization of power, uniform civil code, etc., which are considered some of the essentials in making laws for a “welfare state”.

Although non-justiciable, they provide a set of guidelines for the Government for its functioning in the country.

Significance of DPSP

  • Directive Principles are non-justiciable but these are backed by vox populi (voice of the people), which is the real sanction behind every law in reality.
  • DPSP gives the philosophical foundations of a welfare system. These principles make it the responsibility of the State to secure it through welfare legislation.
  • Their nature is more of a moral ideal. They constitute a moral code for the State but this does not reduce their value as moral principles are very important and the absence of them may hamper the growth of a society. A state is run by its people and the Government is always formed and managed by them, so it’s really important to have a set of standards for making laws in the country.
  • Directive Principles act as a guide for the government, which helps them in making policies and laws for the purpose of securing justice and welfare in the State.
  • DPSPs are like a source of continuity in the Governance of the country because, in a democratic system, the Governments change after regular elections, and every new government makes different policies and laws for the country. The presence of such guidelines is really important because it ensures that every Government will follow the set of principles in the form of DPSP while formulating its laws.
  • Directive Principles can be called the positive directions for the State, which help secure social and economic dimensions of democracy. DPSPs are supplementary to Fundamental Rights, which offer political rights and other freedoms. They are nothing without each other as one provides social and economic democracy and the other political rights.
  • Directive Principles of State Policy make it possible for people to measure the worth of a government and its working. A Government that doesn’t consider these principles can be rejected on this ground by the people in favor of a government that gives due importance to the task of securing these Directive Principles in the state.
  • The Directive Principles constitute a manifesto of a Nation. These reflect the ideas and views which were there in the mind of the drafters while drafting the constitution. These reflected the philosophy behind the making of the Constitution and hence provided useful information to the courts in interpreting the existing provisions in the Constitution and in coming up with better laws and policies.
  • The Directive Principles do not seem to be very rigid in their meanings and this helps the State interpret and apply these principles in accordance with the situation prevailing at a given time.

Thus, including Part IV, which contains the Directive Principles of State Policy, proved to be very useful for the country. The Directive Principles provide good foundations for a welfare state. The securing of Directive Principles helped in completing the requirements of a democratic system. It supplemented the Fundamental Rights of the people and built a State characterized by these four pillars – Justice, Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

Implementation of Directive Principles of State Policy
There are some acts and policies from 1950 onwards which had been implemented to give effect to these Directive Principles. They are as follows:

  • The Minimum Wages Act (1948)
  • Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986) 
  • The Maternity Benefit Act (1961)
  • Equal Remuneration Act (1976) 
  • Handloom Board, Handicrafts Board, Coir Board, Silk Board, etc., have been set up for the development of cottage industries in the country.
  • Integrated Rural Development Programme (1978)
  • Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (1989)
  • Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (1999)
  • Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojana (2001) 
  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programmes (2006)
  • The National Forest Policy (1988)
  • Article 21-A was inserted by the 86th amendment, making free education for children below the age of 14 compulsory. 
  • Prevention of Atrocities Act is safeguarding the interests of SCs and STs.
  • Several Land Reform Acts.

DPSP and Fundamental rights

Fundamental rights are the basic human rights enshrined in the Constitution of India, which are guaranteed to all citizens. In Part III of the Constitution, certain rights are granted to citizens to allow them to live peacefully. These rights act as a safeguard to ensure that the Government does not restrict any of the fundamental rights given by the Constitution. They are applied without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, etc. Significantly, fundamental rights are enforceable by the courts, subject to certain conditions.  


Why are they called Fundamental Rights?

These rights are called fundamental rights because of two reasons:

  • They are enshrined in the Constitution, which guarantees them

  • They are justiciable (enforceable by courts). In case of a violation, a person can approach a court of law.

List of Fundamental Rights

There are six fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution along with the constitutional articles related to them are mentioned below:

  1. Right to Equality (Article 14-18)
  2. Right to Freedom (Article 19-22)
  3. Right against Exploitation (Article 23-24)
  4. Right to Freedom of Religion (Article 25-28)
  5. Cultural and Educational Rights (Article 29-30)
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies (Article 32)

Directive Principles of State Policy are some important guidelines given to the government so that it can work accordingly and refer to them while formulating the laws and policies and building a just society. 

These principles are mentioned in Part IV from Articles 36 to 51 of the Constitution.

Directive Principles are non-justiciable. However, these are recognized as important roleplayers in governing the State. These principles aim at creating such an environment that can help the citizens to live a good life where peace and harmony prevail.

The directive principles conjointly gauge the performance of the state in order to achieve the objectives stated in the preamble of the Indian Constitution.

Comparison between DPSP and Fundamental rights

Directive Principles of State Policy- 3 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

Criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy
The following reasons are responsible for the criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy: 

1. It has no legal force
2. It is illogically arranged
3. It is conservative in nature
4. It may produce constitutional conflict between centre and state.

What is the conflict between Fundamental Rights & DPSPs?

With the help of four court cases given below, candidates can understand the relationship between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy:
1. Champakam Dorairajan Case (1951) Supreme Court ruled that in any case of conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSPs, the provisions of the former would prevail. DPSPs were regarded to run as a subsidiary to Fundamental Rights. SC also ruled that Parliament can amend Fundamental Rights through constitutional amendment act ti implement DPSPs.

Result: Parliament made the First Amendment Act (1951), the Fourth Amendment Act (1955) and the Seventeenth Amendment Act (1964) to implement some of the Directives.

2. Golaknath Case (1967) Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot amend Fundamental Rights to implement Directive Principles of State Policy.

Result: Parliament enacted the 24th Amendment Act 1971 & 25th Amendment Act 1971 declaring that it has the power to abridge or take away any of the Fundamental Rights by enacting Constitutional Amendment Acts. 25th Amendment Act inserted a new Article 31C containing two provisions:

  • No law which seeks to implement the socialistic Directive Principles specified in Article 39 (b)22 and (c)23 shall be void on the ground of contravention of the Fundamental Rights conferred by Article 14 (equality before law and equal protection of laws), Article 19 (protection of six rights in respect of speech, assembly, movement, etc) or Article 31 (right to property).
  • No law containing a declaration for giving effect to such policy shall be questioned in any court on the ground that it does not give effect to such a policy.

3. Kesavananda Bharti Case (1973) Supreme Court ruled out the second provision of Article 31C added by the 25th Amendment Act during Golaknath Case of 1967. It termed the provision ‘unconstitutional.’ However, it held the first provision of Article 31C constitutional and valid.

Result: Through the 42nd amendment act, Parliament extended the scope of the first provision of Article 31C. It accorded the position of legal primacy and supremacy to the Directive Principles over the Fundamental Rights conferred by Articles 14, 19 and 31. 

4. Minerva Mills Case (1980) Supreme Court held the extension of Article 31C made by the 42nd amendment act unconstitutional and invalid. It made DPSP subordinate to Fundamental Rights. Supreme Court also held that ‘the Indian Constitution is founded on the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles.

Rulings by SC:

  • Fundamental Rights & DPSPs constitute the core of the commitment to social revolution.
  • The harmony and balance between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is an essential feature of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • The goals set out by the Directive Principles have to be achieved without the abrogation of the means provided by the Fundamental Rights.

Conclusion: Today, Fundamental Rights enjoy supremacy over the Directive Principles. Yet, Directive Principles can be implemented. The Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the Directive Principles, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.

The document Directive Principles of State Policy- 3 | Indian Polity for UPSC CSE is a part of the UPSC Course Indian Polity for UPSC CSE.
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FAQs on Directive Principles of State Policy- 3 - Indian Polity for UPSC CSE

1. What are the Directive Principles of State Policy?
Ans. The Directive Principles of State Policy are a set of guidelines or principles laid down in the Constitution of a country, which the government should keep in mind while framing laws and policies. These principles aim to promote social justice, economic welfare, and the overall development of the country.
2. How are the Directive Principles of State Policy different from Fundamental Rights?
Ans. The Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights are both important aspects of the Constitution, but they have some fundamental differences. While Fundamental Rights are justiciable and enforceable by the courts, the Directive Principles are non-justiciable and cannot be enforced by the courts. Fundamental Rights are individual-centric, whereas the Directive Principles focus on the welfare of the society as a whole.
3. Why are the Directive Principles of State Policy not legally enforceable?
Ans. The Directive Principles of State Policy are not legally enforceable because they involve socio-economic matters that require financial resources and time for their implementation. These principles are more like guidelines or moral obligations for the government, rather than enforceable rights. However, the courts can consider the violation of these principles while interpreting laws and determining the constitutional validity of any legislation.
4. Are the Directive Principles of State Policy binding on the government?
Ans. Although the Directive Principles of State Policy are not legally enforceable, they are still binding on the government. The government is expected to take these principles into consideration while formulating policies and implementing welfare measures. The Constitution expects the government to strive towards achieving these principles and aims to make them a reality in the long run.
5. Do all countries have Directive Principles of State Policy in their constitutions?
Ans. No, not all countries have Directive Principles of State Policy in their constitutions. The concept of Directive Principles is commonly found in countries with a written constitution, where these principles guide the government in its policy-making. However, the inclusion and nature of such principles may vary from country to country, depending on their specific needs and socio-political context.
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