Part: 4 of the Constitution – Directive Principles Of State Policy
Article 36 – Definition: In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State” has the same meaning as in Part III.
Article 37 – Application of the principles contained in this Part: The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforceable by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.
Article 38 – State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.
(1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
(2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavor to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
Article 39 – Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State: The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing–
(a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to livelihood;
(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;
(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
(e) 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;
(f) 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 organize 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 endeavour 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.
Article 43A – Participation of workers in management of industries: 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 organisations engaged in any industry.
Article 44 – Uniform civil code for the citizens: 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 endeavour 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 45 shall stand Substituted by Constitution (Eighty Sixth Amendment) Act, 2002. Provision for early childhood care and education to children below the age of six years: The State shall endeavour to provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six 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 purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.
Article 48 – Organisation of agriculture and animal husbandry: The State shall endeavour to organise 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: 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 interests, [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: The State shall endeavour to–
(a) promote international peace and security;
(b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised peoples with one another; and
(d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
DPSPs aim to create social and economic conditions under which the citizens can lead a good life. They also aim to establish social and economic democracy through a welfare state. They act as a check on the government, theorized as a yardstick in the hands of the people to measure the performance of the government and vote it out of power if it does not fulfill the promises made during the elections.
The Directive Principles are non-justiciable rights of the people. Article 31-C, inserted by the 25th Amendment Act of 1971 seeks to upgrade the Directive Principles. If laws are made to give effect to the Directive Principles over Fundamental Rights, they shall not be invalid on the grounds that they take away the Fundamental Rights. In case of a conflict between Fundamental Rights and DPSP’s, if the DPSP aims at promoting larger interest of the society, the courts shall have to uphold the case in favour of the DPSP.
The Directive Principles, though not justiciable, are fundamental in the governance of the country. It shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws. Besides, all executive agencies should also be guided by these principles. Even the judiciary has to keep them in mind in deciding cases.
Implementation of Directive Principles:
The State has made and is making many efforts to implement the Directive Principles.
The Programme of Universalisation of Elementary Education and the five-year plans has been accorded the highest priority in order to provide free education to all children up to the age of 14 years.
The 86th constitutional amendment of 2002 inserted a new article, Article 21-A, into the Constitution, that seeks to provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 6 to 14 years.
Welfare schemes for the weaker sections are being implemented both by the Central and State governments. These include programmes such as boys’ and girls’ hostels for scheduled castes’ or scheduled tribes’ students. The year 1990-1991 was declared as the “Year of Social Justice” in the memory of B.R. Ambedkar.
The government provides free textbooks to students belonging to scheduled castes or scheduled tribes pursuing medicine and engineering courses. During 2002-2003, a sum of Rs. 47.7 million was released for this purpose.
In order that scheduled castes and scheduled tribes are protected from atrocities, the Government enacted the The Prevention of Atrocities Act, which provided severe punishments for such atrocities.
Several Land Reform Acts were enacted to provide ownership rights to poor farmers. Up to September 2001, more than 20,000,000 acres (80,000 km²) of land had been distributed to scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and the landless poor. The thrust of banking policy in India has been to improve banking facilities in the rural areas.
The Minimum Wages Act of 1948 empowers government to fix minimum wages for employees engaged in various employments.
The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 provides for the better protection of consumers. The act is intended to provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumers’ grievances, award relief and compensation wherever appropriate to the consumer.
The Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana was launched in 2001 to attain the objective of gainful employment for the rural poor. The programme was implemented through the Panchayati Raj institutions.
Panchayati Raj now covers almost all states and Union territories. One-third of the total number of seats have been reserved for women in Panchayats at every level; in the case of Bihar, half the seats have been reserved for women.
Legal aid at the expense of the State has been made compulsory in all cases pertaining to criminal law, if the accused is too poor to engage a lawyer.
Judiciary has been separated from the executive in all the states and Union territories except Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.
India’s Foreign Policy has also to some degree been influenced by the DPSPs. India has in the past condemned all acts of aggression and has also supported the United Nations’ peace-keeping activities. By 2004, the Indian Army had participated in 37 UN peace-keeping operations.
India played a key role in the passing of a UN resolution in 2003, which envisaged better cooperation between the Security Council and the troop-contributing countries. India has also been in favour of nuclear disarmament.