Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) – Notes [GK PDF]

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By: Stupid
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Indian Polity

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The DPSP cover a wide range of areas and aim to establish a just, equitable, and welfare-oriented society. DPSP Notes PDF and GK.

Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP)

The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) are a set of guidelines and principles included in the Constitution of India to guide the government in making laws and policies. They are enshrined in Part IV of the Indian Constitution, from Articles 36 to 51, and are not legally enforceable in courts, unlike the Fundamental Rights. However, they are considered fundamental in the governance of the country and are meant to serve as a moral and ethical compass for the government. Although Ireland is credited with inventing directive policy, Spain is regarded as the true originator (see borrowed features of the Indian Constitution). There were 13 directive principles in the original constitution. Further four were introduced by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976. As a result, the Indian constitution now contains 17 directive policies.

Key Points: of DPSP

  • Social Justice: The state should promote social, economic, and political justice, and should work towards reducing inequalities of income, status, and opportunities.
  • Economic Welfare: The state should work to secure the right to an adequate means of livelihood for all citizens, equal pay for equal work, and prevention of concentration of wealth and resources.
  • Gandhian Principles: The principles of Gandhian philosophy, such as decentralization of power, protection of the environment, and promotion of cottage industries, are emphasized.
  • Welfare of Weaker Sections: The state should promote the welfare of marginalized and weaker sections of society, including Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and other backward classes.
  • Educational and Cultural Upliftment: The state should work to provide free and compulsory education for children, promote educational and cultural institutions, and protect and preserve the country’s heritage.
  • Protection of Health: The state should work to provide public health facilities, promote sanitation, and ensure the well-being of citizens in terms of health.
  • Promotion of International Peace: The state should endeavor to promote international peace and cooperation, and respect international law and treaties.
  • Uniform Civil Code: The state is directed to work toward implementing a Uniform Civil Code, which would apply the same set of civil laws to all citizens irrespective of their religious beliefs.
  • Protection of Environment: The state should protect and improve the environment, and safeguard forests and wildlife.
  • Separation of Judiciary from Executive: While not explicitly mentioned, the DPSP also indirectly advocates for the separation of the judiciary from the executive branch to ensure a fair and independent judicial system.

According to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the “guidelines” for governors and governor-generals enacted in the Government of India Act of 1935 are the real predecessors of the directive principles of the present constitution.

Directive principles can be divided into a few categories’ viz.

  1. Social policy
  2. Gandhian policy
  3. Liberal policy
  4. constitutional policy and
  5. International policy.

Basically, two notable features can be mentioned in the case of directive policy. E.g.

  1. These policies cannot be enforced by the courts.
  2. Even if the directive policies impose certain responsibilities on the state, the state cannot pass any law on the strength of the directive policy alone.

According to Ivor Jennings,

“these policies are not consistent with the written constitution.”

-Ivor Jennings

Economic and social rights are the central issues of the directive policies. The major goal of this program, according to some, is to turn India into a welfare state rather than a tyrannical one. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar told at the Constituent Assembly that “These policies serve as a testing ground for the ruling party“.

Professor KC Wheare‘s policies have declared the political values of justice, freedom, equality, friendship, and so on, in accordance with the terms of the proposed constitution. Citizens have rights and obligations as a result of these beliefs.

B.N. Rao argued for dividing these principles into two parts:

(A) These are not enforceable in court as a general right.
(B) Certain rights are enforceable by the court.

Socialist Principles.

  1. Article 38 states that the country shall strive for the welfare of the people by forming a social system on the basis of social, economic and political justice.
  2. Article 39 (a) – This section was added to the 42nd Constitution in 1976 through modification. This section deals with the establishment of justice and the provision of free legal aid to the poor.
  3. Article 41 specifies that the state must guarantee the right to work, education, and government support in certain circumstances, as well as assist citizens in the scenario of unemployment, old age, or disease.
  4. Article 42 states that the state will create a conducive working environment and take necessary measures for maternity.
  5. Article 43: Providing adequate living wages, improving living standards, and expanding cottage industries in the villages.
  6. Article 43 (a) was enacted by the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution in 1976 – which states that the state shall establish the opportunity for the participation of workers in the administration of factories. “

Gandhi’s principles:

  1. Article 40: For the purpose of establishing local autonomy, the state will form gram panchayats and delegate the necessary powers to these institutions.
  2. Article 43: Will try to develop cottage industries in rural areas.
  3. Article 46: The State shall endeavor to protect and develop the education, and economic interests of the people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other Backward Classes.
  4. Article 47: The state shall prohibit the use of alcohol or other drugs for any purpose other than the need for drugs.
  5. Article 48: The state will try to stop the slaughter of domestic animals such as cows, calves and other dairy animals.

Liberal policy

  1. Article 45: The State shall endeavor to provide unpaid compulsory education to boys and girls up to the age of 14 years.
  2. Article 48 (a): The State shall preserve and develop the environment and conserve forests and wildlife.
  3. Article 49: The state shall endeavor to preserve monuments and objects of artistic and historically important things.

Policies for the development of governance structures:

  • Article 44: The State shall endeavor to introduce the same Uniform Civil Code for all citizens of the whole of India.
  • Article 50: The State shall endeavor to separate the Judiciary from the Government.

International Policies:

  • Article 51: In accordance with Article 51, the State of India shall endeavor to promote international peace and security and to respect the treaty of law.
  • Article 350: It is the duty of every state and its local administration to ensure that education through the mother tongue is provided to the minority community at the primary level.
  • Article 351: The duty of the Central Government is to strive for the expansion of the Hindi language.
  • Article 335: In the case of employment under the Central and State Governments of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, their claims may have to be considered for justice.

Comparison Between Directive Principle & Fundamental Rights

Directive PrincipleFundamental Rights
Directive Principles are not legally enforceable.Fundamental Rights are legally enforceable.
Laws contrary to the directive policy of the state can not be repealed.According to section 13 (2), the law against fundamental rights can be repealed.
Directive policies extend the scope of the state’s workplace.Fundamental rights, on the other hand, extend the rights of citizens.
The directive principles of the state are positive.Fundamental rights are negative.

These principles reflect the vision of the framers of the Indian Constitution and their aspiration for a just and equitable society. While not legally binding, they guide the government’s policies and actions and play a significant role in shaping India’s governance and development strategies.


Notes: Citizenship – Indian Constitution GK
Notes: Fundamental Rights – GK


FAQs From Directive Principle of State Policy

Few MCQs from DPSP

What is the primary purpose of the Directive Principles of State Policy?

  1. To provide enforceable legal rights to citizens
  2. To guide the government in policy-making for the welfare of the people
  3. To establish the framework for the judicial system
  4. To define the powers of the President of India

[B] To guide the government in policy-making for the welfare of the people

Which part of the Indian Constitution contains the Directive Principles of State Policy?

  1. Part I
  2. Part III
  3. Part IV
  4. Part VII

[C] Part IV

Which among the following is NOT covered by Directive Principles?

  1. Promotion of scientific temper
  2. Protection of wildlife and forests
  3. Right to privacy
  4. Equal pay for equal work

[C] Right to privacy

What is the status of Directive Principles in case of a conflict with Fundamental Rights?

  1. Fundamental Rights take precedence.
  2. Directive Principles take precedence.
  3. Both are equally applicable.
  4. The President decides the outcome.

[A] Fundamental Rights take precedence.

Useful DPSC Questions for UPSC

Explain the significance of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) in the Indian Constitution and their role in achieving the objectives of the Preamble.

Discuss the key differences between Fundamental Rights (Part III) and Directive Principles of State Policy (Part IV) in the Indian Constitution.

“Directive Principles are the conscience of the Constitution.” Analyze this statement with reference to the nature and purpose of DPSP.

Discuss the Gandhian principles included in the Directive Principles of State Policy. How relevant are these principles in the contemporary Indian context?

How do Directive Principles address the challenges of achieving social and economic justice in Indian society? Provide examples of DPSP provisions that reflect this objective.

Directive Principle of State Policy Notes PDF