The Indian Constitution established some Directive Principles of State Policy that are critical to the country’s governance. Each Indian state has the responsibility to adopt these principles when enacting legislation, as they provide a highly complete social, economic, and political agenda for a contemporary welfare state. These ideas emphasise the importance of the state attempting to enhance people’s wellbeing by providing them with basic necessities like housing, food, and clothes. The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP), unlike Fundamental Rights, are non-binding, which means they cannot be enforced by the courts if they are violated.They are meant to impose a moral duty on governmental officials to carry them out.
Features of DPSP
- These are ideals that the state should consider while developing policy and passing legislation.
- The DPSP assists the state in developing economic, social, and political policies.
- The DPSP assists the government in establishing economic and social democracy. It is a highly comprehensive economic, social, and political programme for a contemporary democratic state, with the goal of realising the great principles of justice, liberty, equality, and brotherhood enshrined in the Constitution’s Preamble. They represent the notion of a “welfare state,”.
- They are non-justiciable in nature, which means that the courts will not be able to enforce them if they are broken. The Directive Principles assist courts in assessing and determining whether a statute is constitutional.
Classification of Directive Principles
The constitution of India doesn’t officially classify DPSPs into different categories. For the purpose of analysis and study, DPSPs are divided into three categories- on the basis of their content and objective.
- Socialistic Principles
- Gandhian Principles
- Liberal-Intellectual Principles
- Socialistic Principles
These principles explore socialism’s philosophy and establish the basis for a democratic socialist state. The notion entails ensuring social and economic justice so that the state can attain the welfare state’s optimal standards. The main goal is to reduce inequality of income, position, resources, and opportunities (Article 38)
Article 38: To enhance the welfare of the citizens by ensuring and safeguarding a social order in which justice, social, economic, and political considerations guide all aspects of national life as efficiently as possible.
Article 39: To ensure: (a) that all citizens have an adequate means of subsistence;
(b) that the community’s material resources are distributed fairly for the common good; (c) that an economic system is in place to prevent the concentration of wealth and means of production; and (d) that men and women are paid equally for equal work. Protection of employees’ and children’s health and strength from violent abuse
(e) Opportunities for children’s healthy development
Article 39 A: To promote equal justice and to offer poor citizens with free legal assistance. Article 41: To guarantee the right to labour, education, and public aid in the event of unemployment, old age, disease, or disability.
Article 42: To provide for reasonable and humane working conditions and maternity leave.
Article 43: To ensure that all employees have access to a livable wage, a good quality of life, and social and cultural opportunities. In rural regions, the state will foster cottage enterprises on an individual or cooperative basis.
Article 43 A: Taking efforts to ensure that employees are involved in the administration of industries.
Article 47: Improve public health through improving people’s diet and standard of living.
2. Gandhian Principles
These ideas, based on Gandhian ideology, embody Mahatma Gandhi’s reconstruction programme during the national struggle. Some of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas were included into the Directive Principles of State Policy, which guide the state through some important policies.
Article 40: To establish village panchayats and provide them with the necessary authorities and authority to act as self-governing bodies.
Article 43: To develop cottage businesses in rural regions on an individual or cooperative basis.
Article 43 B: To encourage co-operative societies’ voluntary creation, independent functioning, democratic control, and professional administration.
Article 46: To promote the educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially vulnerable groups, as well as to safeguard them from social injustice and exploitation.
Article 47: To make it illegal to use intoxicating beverages and drugs that are harmful to one’s health.
Article 48: To make it illegal to slaughter cows, calves, and other cattle as well as to develop their breeds.
3. Liberal-Intellectual Principles
These principles are focused on the ideology of liberalism.
Article 44: To ensure an uniform civil code throughout the country for all people.
Article 45: To provide all children with early childhood care and education until they reach the age of six.
Article 48: To organise agriculture and animal husbandry according to contemporary and scientific principles.
Article 48 A: To conserve woods and animals, as well as to protect and develop the environment.
Article 49: To safeguard monuments, locations, and objects of aesthetic or historic relevance that have been designated as national treasures.
Article 50: Separation of the judiciary and the executive in state public services.
Article 51: To promote international peace and security, as well as to maintain just and honourable relations among states; to promote respect for international law and treaty commitments; and to encourage the use of arbitration to settle international disputes.
Changes in DPSP
The 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976, made the following amendments to Part IV of the Constitution:
Article 39A: To give needy people with free legal assistance.
Article 43A: Workers’ participation in industry management.
Article 48A: The purpose of this article is to protect and develop the environment.
The 44th Constitutional Amendment of 1978 added Section-2 to Article 38, which states, “The State in particular should try to reduce economic disparities in income and remove inequalities in status, facilities, and opportunities not only among individuals but also among groups.” The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 amended the topic of Article 45, making primary education a basic right under Article 21 A.