Directive Principles of State Policy
The directive principles of state policy are guidelines which state and central government have to keep in mind while framing new laws and policies. They are not enforceable by any court of law. They constitute the Part 4, Articles 36-51 of the Indian Constitution. These can be seen as the philosophy of the constitution.
The DPSP’s were borrowed from the constitution of Ireland because the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution were deeply affected by the Irish National Movement. The Rowlatt Acts imposed the British gave the British Government almost unlimited power to strangle any protest or revolt that brewed against them. As a result of this the Indian mass united and protested. These protests were the trademark non-violent civil disobedience which Mahatma Gandhi had so successfully inculcated among the Indian masses. These protest called for a regulation on the Governmental powers and a commensurate increase in the civilians powers. Indians were greatly moved by the Irish Independence and the directive principles of the Irish constitution. They envisaged a free India in which laws would be framed with welfare of the people of India as the paramount motivation. Therefore, when the constitution was formed these DPSPs found an important place in the Indian Constitution.
Things you need to know about DPSP’s –
- They aim to establish a social democracy through welfare state.
- Constitute Part 4, Articles 36-51 of the Indian Constitution
- They are non-justiciable rights of the people
- Deal with economic and socialistic, political and administrative, justice and legal, environmental, protection of monuments and peace and security aspects of the society
- Executive entities as well as the judiciary shall also keep them in mind while taking decisions of national as well as societal importance
- It shall be a duty of the state in applying these principles while making laws
- They aimed to empower the people and society at large to decide the kind of environment they want prevailing in the country.
- They are indispensible for the socio-economic development of the country
- These constitute the philosophy and conscience of our constitution
The Directive Principles of State Policy are broadly classified into three categories –
- Socialist and Economic principles – These aim to make this country a welfare state. These principles direct the state to establish social order and that justice – social, economic and political – should be the language of every national institution. They aim to remove all forms of inequalities from the society. Establishing a social order where welfare of the people should be the main aim and where justice should prevail is the main objective of these principles. To achieve such objectives the government shall direct its policy in securing –
- adequate means of livelihood for all;
- equal distribution of wealth and resources among all classes ;
- no discrimination in pay based on gender ;
- humane conditions of work, a decent standard of living with employment opportunities.
- protection of children against exploitation and abandonment
- Provision of work and compulsory education for all people, relief in case of unemployment, old age, sickness and disability and other cases of undeserved want ;
- equality of opportunity for all individuals ;
- level of nutrition people ;
- public health and enforce prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs;
- environment which safeguards forest and wild life of the country ;
- protection of adult and child labour.
- Gandhian Principles – These principles are based on ideals followed by Mahatma Gandhi.
- To organize village panchayats and to give them enough power so they can practice self-government
- to promote traditional industries such as cotton and textile
- to regulate consumption of intoxicating drinks and drugs;
- to educationally and economically empower SCs and STs
- to organize agricultural and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines
- to prohibit the slaughter of cows and other useful cattle ;
- to preserve and maintain monuments and places of national importance
- to keep judiciary out of the influence of executives
- International Principles – These principles were included in order to ensure international peace and security.
- to work for and promote international peace and security
- to maintain friendly relations with other nations
- to advocate the propriety and justness of international laws
- to use arbitration as the means for settlement of international dispute
Implementation of Directive Principles –
The Government at different points in time have made efforts to implement the Directive Principles of State Policy. These efforts are embodied in some schemes which have been undertaken. These schemes are –
- The Minimum Wages Act (1948), Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986) et cetera seeks to safeguard the interest of workers
- The Maternity Benefit Act (1961) and Equal Reneration Act (1976) have been implemented to safeguard and uphold the interests of women workers.
- Handloom Board, Handicrafts Board, Coir Board, Silk Board have been set up for the development of cottage industry
- Integrated Rural Development Programme (1978), Jawahar Rozgar Yojana (1989), Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (1999), Sampoorna Gram Rozgar Yojana (2001), Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programmes (2006) et cetera have been implemented to improve the living standard of the people.
- The National Forest Policy (1988), aims at the preserving the forest and environment
Amendments – An amendment to the DSPSs requires a special majority in both the houses i.e. two third majority of members present and voting is needed in order to make changes to DSPSs. Also, the number of members voting should be more than half the strength of the house both for Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.
- Article 31-C, inserted into the Directive Principles of State Policy by the 25th Amendment Act of 1971 states that if laws are made to give effect to the Directive Principles over Fundamental Rights, they shall not be declared invalid on the grounds that they take away the Fundamental Rights
- Article 45, which ensures Provision for free and compulsory education for children, was added by the 86th Amendment Act, 2002.
- Article 48-A, which ensures Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wild life, was added by the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.