Directive Principles of State Policy

Directive Principles of State Policy –Part IV of the Constitution.
 Articles 36 to 51.
 Framers of the Constitution-> idea from the Irish Constitution of 1937, which had copied it from the Spanish Constitution.
 Dr B R Ambedkar ->‘novel features’ of the Indian Constitution.
 Directive Principles along with the Fundamental Rights contain the philosophy of the Constitution and is the soul of the Constitution.
 Granville Austin->Described the Directive Principles and the Fundamental Rights as ‘Conscience(वििेक) of the Constitution’.


1. ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’ –>
• These are-> Constitutional instructions/ recommendations
• ->To State in legislative, executive and administrative matters.
• Article 36 – Term ‘State’ in Part IV has the same meaning as in Part III dealing with Fundamental Rights-> Includes the legislative and executive organs of the central and state governments, all local authorities and all other public authorities in the country.

2. Directive Principles – resemble the ‘Instrument of Instructions’ enumerated in the Government of India Act of 1935.
• Dr B R Ambedkar – ‘Directive Principles are like the instrument of instructions-> Which were issued to Governor-General and to Governors of the colonies of India by British Government under the Government of India Act of 1935.

3. Directive Principles constitute a very comprehensive
 -Economic,
 -Social and
 -Political programme for a modern-> Economic and Social democracy in the country.
• Aim at realising the high ideals of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity as outlined in the Preamble to the Constitution.
• Concept of a ‘welfare state’ and not that of a ‘police state’, which existed during colonial era.

4. Directive Principles are non-Justiciable in nature
• Constitution (Article 37) – Principles are fundamental in the governance of the country duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.

5. Directive Principles, though non-justiciable in nature, help the courts in examining and determining the constitutional validity of a law.
• If a court finds that the law in question seeks to give effect to a Directive Principle, it may consider such law to be ‘reasonable’ in relation to


 Constitution does not contain any classification of Directive Principles.
 On the basis of their content and direction, they can be classified into three broad categories,
1- Socialistic,
2- Gandhian
3- Liberal–intellectual.

Socialistic Principles :

 Reflect the ideology of socialism.
 Aim at providing social and economic justice, and set the path towards welfare state.
Direct the state:
1. Article 38-> Promote the welfare of the people by securing a social order permeated by justice social, economic and political — and to minimise inequalities in income, status, facilities and opportunities
2. To secure :
(a) Right to adequate means of livelihood for all citizens;
(b) Equitable distribution of material resources of the community for the common good;
(c) Prevention of concentration of wealth and means of production;
(d) Equal pay for equal work for men and women;
(e) Preservation of the health and strength of workers and children against forcible abuse; and
(f) Opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39).

3. Article 39 A-> To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor
4. Article 41-> To secure the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement
5. Article 42-> To make provision for just and humane conditions for work & maternity relief
6. Article 43-> To secure a living wage, a decent standard of life and social and cultural opportunities for all workers
7. Article 43 A-> To take steps to secure participation of workers in the management of industries
8. Article 47-> To raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of people and to improve public health

Gandhian Principles : Gandhian Ideology

In order to fulfil the dreams of Gandhi, some of his ideas were included as Directive Principles.
 They require the State:
1. Article 40- To organise village panchayats and endow them with necessary powers and authority to enable them to function as units of self-government
2. Article 43- To promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operation basis in rural areas
3. Article 43B- To promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies
4. Article 46 To promote the educational and economic interests of SCs, STs, and other weaker sections of the society and to protect them from social injustice and exploitation.
5. Article 47- To prohibit consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health

Liberal–Intellectual Principles

The principles included in this category represent the ideology of liberalism.
 They direct the state:
1. Article 44- To secure for all citizens a uniform civil code throughout the country
2. Article 45- To provide early childhood care and education for all children until they complete the age of six years
3. Article 48- To organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines
4. Article 48A- To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life
5. Article 49- To protect monuments, places and objects of artistic or historic interest which are declared to be of national importance
6. Article 50- To separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State
7. Article 51- To promote international peace and security and maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
• To foster respect for international law and treaty obligations, and
• To encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration


 Sir B N Rau-> Constitutional Advisor to the Constituent Assembly, recommended –
• Rights of an individual should be divided into two categories—
a. Justiciable and b. Non-justiciable,
which was accepted by the Drafting Committee.
 Fundamental Rights
 Directive Principles
 Directive Principles are non-justiciable, the Constitution (Article 37) make it clear that ‘these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the state to apply these principles in making laws’.
 They impose a moral obligation on the state authorities for their application, but the real force behind them is political, that is, public opinion.
 As observed by Alladi Krishna Swamy Ayyar, ‘no ministry responsible to the people can afford light heartedly to ignore the provisions in Part IV of the Constitution’.

 Framers of the Constitution made the Directive Principles non-justiciable and legally non enforceable because:
1. The country did not possess sufficient financial resources to implement them.
2. Presence of vast diversity and backwardness in the country would stand in the way of their implementation.
3. Newly born independent Indian State with its many preoccupations might be crushed under burden unless it was free to decide the order, time, place and mode of fulfilling them.
 ‘Constitution makers – Taking a pragmatic view.


1. No Legal Force
2. Illogically Arranged- Neither properly classified nor logically arranged, mixes up relatively unimportant issues with the most vital, Modern with the old and provisions
3. Conservative –(अपरििर्तनिादी)- Based on the political philosophy of the 19th century England, question whether they are suitable for the twenty-first century cannot be answered
4. Constitutional Conflict-
(a) Between the Centre and the states,
(b) Between the President and the Prime Minister, and
(c) Between the governor and the chief minister.

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