Directive Principles of State Policy and Constitution

The Directive Principle of State Policy was borrowed from the Irish Constitution, and the designers of our Indian Constitution included these concepts into Part IV of the Constitution, which runs from Article 36 to Article 51. These ideas were critical to the country's governance since they reflected the people's hopes and dreams.

Meaning of “Directive Principles of State Policy”

The Directive Concepts of State Policy are the concepts that the state should keep in mind while establishing policies and laws. The goal of the Directive Principles of State Policy is to construct a 'Welfare State'. In other words, the purpose of producing directed policy is to foster social, economic, and political democracy in the state. Because the Directive Values seek to establish a state in which social and economic democracy may flourish, the state must adhere to these principles in both administration and law.

However, the state does not have to put these ideas into practice right away, according to the Constitution. From November 15, 1947, to October 17, 1949, India's Constituent Assembly had discussions on the guiding principles. The directive principles were eventually ratified by the Constituent Assembly as a component of the Constitution after significant debate and thought.

In order for the country's future legislative and administration bodies to keep these standards in mind while drafting its policies, directive principles establish the rules and standards for them.

Features of Directive Principles of State Policy

There are some features of the directive principles of state policy, which are as follows 

  • They are not justiciable, which implies that they cannot be carried out by the courts.

  • They are, nonetheless, vital to the country's government, and it is the State's responsibility to apply them while creating laws.

  • They are founded on constitutionally protected socioeconomic rights such as the right to education, the right to employment, and the right to property.

  • They are intended to serve as a guide for future law rather than just a statement of principles to be fulfilled in the present.

  • The primary goal of the directive principles is to set the conditions under which citizens can live a happy life.

  • They lay the groundwork for the country's future legislature.

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

The purpose of the Directive Principle of State Policy is “Welfare of State". The Directive Principles are the guidelines that the Union and state governments must follow when developing policy or passing legislation. They establish specific social, economic, or political concepts that are appropriate for India's unique circumstances.

Classification of Directive Principles of State Policy

The Indian Constitution did not originally classify DPSPs; however, they are typically grouped into three groups based on their substance and direction 

  • Socialistic Principles

  • Gandhian Principles

  • Liberal Intellectual Principles

Socialistic Principles

These principles consider socialism's philosophy and establish the basis for a democratic socialist state. The concept envisions delivering social and economic justice so that the state can reach optimal welfare state standards. These articles serve as their orders to the state −

Gandhian Principles 

These concepts represent Gandhi's rebuilding agenda enunciated throughout the national struggle. Some of Gandhi's concepts were included in the DPSP in order to fulfil his dreams, and they drive the state through the following articles 

Liberal Intellectual Principles

These principles are liberal in ideology, and they follow the state through the articles listed below 

New Provision of Directive Principles of State Policy after Amendment

The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 adds four new directive principles to the original list. They are as follows 

Amendments to DPSP

The 44th Amendment Act of 1978 established a new DPSP that requires the state to decrease gaps in wealth, status, facility, and opportunity in line with Article 38.

The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 altered the subject matter of Article 45 and proclaimed basic education a fundamental right under Article 21 A. The state must offer early childhood education and care to all children up until the age of fourteen, according to the new regulation.

The 97th Amendment Act of 2011 added a new DPSP dealing with cooperative societies. The state is envisioned as supporting the development of cooperative societies, individuality, democratic governance, and professional management (Article 43B).

In general, the Directive Concepts of State Policy are the principles that the state should consider while formulating policies. They are non-justiciable, thus if they are not implemented, they cannot be contested in court. However, the Supreme Court may use them as a reference when determining whether or not a specific policy is constitutional.

Criticism of Directive Principles of State Policy

The following are some of the grounds given for criticising the Directive Principles of State Policy:

  • It has no legal force.

  • It is organised illogically

  • It has a conservative nature.

  • It may result in a constitutional conflict between the centre and the state.


The establishment of social and economic democracy in the nation is the primary goal of the guiding principles of state policy. These ideas seek to construct a welfare state in which every individual is given certain basic rights and there is no kind of exploitation. The directive principles also establish specific responsibilities for the state and people. The DPSP is a vital aspect of our Constitution, and it is every citizen's responsibility to observe it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the main objective of directive principles of state policy?

Ans. The primary goal of the directive principles of state policy in India is to produce a just and equal society. These principles are intended to guide the legislative branch and the administration in the development of legislation and policies that promote socioeconomic justice in the country.

Q2. How is the directive principle of state policy related to Article 40?

Ans. Article 40 of the Constitution, which enshrines one of the Directive Principles of State Policy, states that the State shall take efforts to create village panchayats and invest them with such powers and authority as may be required to allow them to operate as units of self-government.

Q3. How many article are there under DPSP?

Ans. Directive Principles of State Policy DPSPs are listed in Part IV of the Indian Constitution, from Articles 36 to 51. DPSPs are based on the Irish Constitution.

Q4. What is the difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policies?

Ans. The main difference between Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy is that Fundamental Rights are justiciable, which means that courts may enforce them, but Directive Principles are non-justiciable, which means that courts cannot enforce them.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2023


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