Borrowed from the Irish constitution. They are similar to the Instruments of Instruction of Govt of India Act, 1935. They seek to establish a welfare state and lay foundations of social and political democracy in India. They are non justifiable and are not legally enforceable by courts.

However if courts feel that a law gives effect to a directive principle then such a law can be protected from unconstitutionality.

Directive principles are Gandhian [represent program of reconstruction], socialist [reflect principle of socialism] and liberal-intellectual [represent ideology of liberalism].

New directives were added by 42nd, 44th, 86th and 97th amendment.

These were made non justifiable as country didn’t possess the financial resources, presence of diversity and backwardness in India would interfere with implementation.


Articles of the directive principles of state policy

38. State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.

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

39A. Equal justice and free legal aid

40. Organization of village panchayats.

41. Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases.

42. Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.

43. Living wage, etc., for workers.

43A. Participation of workers in management of industries.

44. Uniform civil code for the citizens.

45. Provision for free and compulsory education for children.

46. Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.

47. Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.

 48. Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry.

48A. Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life.

49. Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance.

50. Separation of judiciary from executive.

51. Promotion of international peace and security.

Q. Which principle among the ‘following was added to the Directive Principles of State Policy by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution? (UPSC CSAT 2017)

  1. Equal pay for equal work for both men and women

  2. Participation of workers in the management of industries

  3. Right to work, education and public assistance

  4. Securing living wage and human conditions of work to workers

Ans . B

  1. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 added four new Directive Principles to the original list. They require the State: 1. To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39).

  2. 2. To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A).

  3. 3. To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A).

  4. 4. To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wild life (Article 48 A).

Q. Consider the following statements:
With reference to the Constitution of India, the Directive Principles of State Policy constitute limitations upon
1. legislative function.
2. executive function.
Which of the above statements is/are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2017)

  1. 1 only

  2. 2 only

  3. Both 1 and 2

  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Ans . D

  1. These are the constitutional instructions or recommendations to the State in legislative, executive and administrative matters.

Q.Consider the following Statements regarding the DPSP/ Directive Principles of State Policy:
1. The Principles spell out the socio-economic democracy in the country
2. The provisions contained in these Principles are not enforceable by any court.
Which of the statements given below are correct? (UPSC CSAT 2015)

  • 1 only

  • 2 only

  • Both 1 & 2

  • Neither 1 nor 2

Ans . C

  1. Socio-economic democracy is spelt out because it provides for the idea of a welfare state. For e.g. consider Article 39 (b) and (c) which provide for minimizing inequalities in income and wealth; and ensuring that the wealth is not concentrated in the hands of few. While other article provide for the health of children, rights of working women etc.

  2. DPSP is not enforceable by courts. Only Fundamental rights can be enforced by the courts.


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