Directive Principles of State Policy of India

Directive Principles of State Policy in India

An important feature of the constitution is the Directive Principles of State Policy. Although the Directive Principles are asserted to be "fundamental in the governance of the country," and it is the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. The Directive Principles may be said to contain the philosophy of the constitution. The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Part IV, Articles 36-51 of the Indian constitution constitute the most interesting and enchanting part of the constitution.

As the very term “Directives” indicate, the Directive principles are broad directives given to the state in accordance with which the legislative and executive powers of the state The idea of directives being included in the constitution was borrowed from the constitution of Ireland.

Directive ptinciples are not enforceable through courts. Main aim of Directive ptinciples is to provide social and economic base of a genuine democracy. They were inculcated in our Constitution in order to provide economic justice and also to avoid concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. Therefore, no government can afford to ignore them. They are infact, the directives to the future governments to incorporate them in the decisions and policies to be formulated by them.

Directive Principles enshrines the fundamentals for the realisation of which the state in India stands. They guide the path which will lead the people of India to achieve the noble ideas which the Preamble of the constitution proclaims: Justice, Liberty and Fraternity.

Some Inportant Directive Principles :

Article 39 -  Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State.

The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing –

  • that the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
  •  that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;
  • that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
  • that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
  •  that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;
  • that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.

Article 39A -  Equal justice and free legal aid.
The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.

Article 40 - Organisation of village panchayats.
The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.

Article 41 - Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.

Article 42 -  Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief
The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.

Article 43 - Living wage, etc., for workers

The State shall endeavor to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas.The Constitution provides that every community can run its own institutions to preserve its own culture and language. The minorities are also given the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their own.

Article 43A -  Participation of workers in management of industries
The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisation engaged in any industry.

Article 44 -  Uniform civil code for the citizen
The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.

Article 45 - Provision for free and compulsory education for children.
The State shall endeavor to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.

Article 46 -  Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.
The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.

Article 47 - Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.
The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

Article 48 - Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.
The State shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.

Article 48A - Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life.
The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country.

Article 49 - Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.
It shall be the obligation of the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be.

Article 50 - Separation of judiciary from executive.
The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.

Article 51 - Promotion of international peace and security.

  • promote international peace and security;
  • maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
  • foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised people with one another; and
  • encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.

The directive principles are like instruments of instructions which
were issued to the Governor in General and Governors of colonies and to those of India by the British Government under the 1935 Act under the Draft Constitution. It is proposed to issue such instructions to the president and governors. The text of these instruments of the instructions shall be found in scheduled IV to the Constitution of India. What are called directive principles is that they are instructions to the Legislature and the Executive. Such
a thing is, to my mind, to be welcomed.
- B. R. Ambedkar