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What is the Directive Principle of State Policy?

by Kusum Joshi

The Constitution of India stipulates specific Directive Principle of State Policy, which is the basis of national governance. Since these principles constitute a very comprehensive social, economic and political program, it is the duty of each Indian state to apply these principles while enacting legislation.

Features of Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP)

  1. It represents the ideals that a nation should keep in mind as it formulates policies and enacts legislation.

2. Similarly to the “Instructions” listed in the 1935 Indian Governance Act. In the words of Dr. B R Ambedkar, “The Directive Principles are like the governor-general and the instructions issued to the governor-general.

3. It is a very comprehensive economic and social for modern democracies. It also aims at achieving the high ideals of justice, freedom, equality and friendship, as outlined in the preamble to the Constitution.

4.In addition , they are essentially unjustifiable, which means that they are not legally enforceable by the court for their breach.

5. Although not justified in nature, the Directive Principles help courts investigate and determine the constitutional validity of the law.

Classification of Directive Principle of State Policy

On the basis of their content and direction, they are usually classified into three types-

Firstly Socialistic Principles

These principles ponder the idealism of socialism and set the framework for a democratic socialist state.For instance some of the principles are:

  1. The right to education, the right to work, the right to public support in a particular area.
  2. Equal pay for equal work.
  3. Social order for the welfare of people.
  4. Free legal aid and the right to justice
  5. There is no abuse of children of gentle age.

Articles that fall under the principles of socialism are Articles 38, 39, 39A, 41, 42, 43, 43A, and 47.

Secondly Gandhian Principles

These principles reflect the reconstruction program announced by Gandhi during the national movement. For instance , some of Gandhi’s principles are:

  1. Promotion of family industry
  2. Formation and promotion of village Panchayati
  3. Promote the interests of SC, ST, and OBC.
  4. Prohibition of intoxicating drinks.

Articles that fall under the Gandhi Principles include Articles 40, 43, 43B, 46, 47, and 48.

Thirdly Liberal-Intellectual Principles

These principles lean towards the idealism of liberalism and command the nation.

For instance , some of the intellectual principles of liberalism are:

  1. Unified code ideas for civilians
  2. Protection of monuments and objects of historical importance to the nation.
  3. Promotion of international peace.
  4. Environmental and wildlife protection.

Articles that fall under the intellectual principles of liberalism include Articles 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, and 51.

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