Fundamental Duties and the Indian Constitution

An Indian citizen's fundamental duties are critical. It instilled duty and moral obligation in all residents, and these responsibilities must be upheld by everyone. When people carry out their obligations, it demonstrates a sense of national togetherness and patriotism. In this essay, we will go through all eleven essential obligations as well as major modifications to them.


Meaning of Fundamental Duties

Fundamental duties were influenced by the former Soviet Union's constitution. Japan's constitution was possibly the first democratic constitution in the world to include a list of citizen obligations. Socialist nations, on the other hand, placed equal weight on citizens' basic rights and duties. As a result, the former Soviet Union's constitution stated that people's enjoyment of their rights and liberties was intimately tied to their performance of their responsibilities and obligations. The 42nd Amendment Act amended the constitution by adding Article 51-A, which created a new Section IV-A outlining citizens' basic obligations.

History of Fundamental Duties in India

The 11 Fundamental Duties are a required component of the country's Constitution. These essential responsibilities suggest and reflect many of the most important morals or ideas addressed by our social reformers, great ancient saints, philosophers, and administrative and constitutional leaders. The obligations of citizens were not mentioned in the original Indian Constitution when the Act of Fundamental Duties went into effect in 1950. The Swaran Singh Committee took the initiative and proposed the inclusion of the basic responsibilities of Indian citizens to act as responsible members of the nation. Ten essential obligations were initially introduced to the constitution as a corollary to citizens' fundamental rights by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. The major purpose was to foster mutual collaboration between the nation and its residents in order to maintain a stronger administrative structure in India.

Later, in 2002, the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act integrated one additional basic right with the previous 10 obligations. As a result, the current rules require people to adhere to the eleven fundamental duties enshrined in the Indian Constitution, which they owe to their nation as well as other citizens.

Characteristics of Fundamental Duties

Though the Fundamental Duties are referred to as fundamental or basic, their few qualities set them apart.

  • Disposition of Fundamental Duties − Typically, the duties enshrined in the Constitution are moral and civic responsibilities or commitments made by citizens in the country, and they are legally non-binding.

  • Range of Fundamental Duties − These duties apply solely to Indian nationals and do not apply to outsiders visiting or living in India.

  • Non-defendable in the Courts of Law − The Indian Constitution makes no mention of any absolute implementation of these obligations by the courts. As a result, they are not justiciable in courts of law.

  • Association with traditions − Fundamental duties are related to Hindu traditions and myths, such as repaying respect to the country and promoting a sense of camaraderie and peace.

Swaran Singh Committee Recommendations

During the internal emergency, the Swaran Singh Committee was created to suggest to the then-government that their new concept of basic obligations be incorporated into the constitution. This suggestion was accepted by the congressional administration. As a result, it went into effect in 1976. The suggestions were accepted by Congress, and the 42nd constitutional amendment act of 1976 adopted them. The Swaran Singh Committee proposed only eight core obligations. The 42nd constitutional amendment legislation of 1976, on the other hand, contained eleven basic obligations.

The committee's recommendations that were not implemented are as follows

  • Failure to observe or comply with these essential tasks would result in punishmen

  • Any law imposing this penalty will not be challenged in court as a violation of basic rights or any other constitutional provision.

  • Paying taxes should become a fundamental duty.

86th Amendment Act 2002

  • Article 21A of the Indian Constitution was inserted by the 86th Constitutional Amendment (2002), which stipulates that "the State should offer free and compulsory education to all children aged six to fourteen years in such a way as the State may by law designate."

  • Article 51A was also revised, with the following clause (k) inserted after clause (j): "Who is a parent or guardian to give educational opportunities to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the ages of six and fourteen years?"

  • It established parents' basic responsibility to provide opportunities for their kids to pursue an education.

Article 51A of the Indian Constitution

The basic obligations imposed by the 42nd Amendment Act of the Constitution in 1976, in addition to producing and fostering culture, enhance the legislative hand in implementing these duties in relation to the fundamental duties. The Indian Constitution mentions 11 fundamental obligations in Article 51 A. They are listed below.

It is the duty of every Indian citizen:

Art. 51 A (a)

To abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

Art. 51 A (b)

To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

Art. 51 A (c)

To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity, and integrity of India.

Art. 51 A (d)

To defend the country and render national services when called upon to do so.

Art. 51 A (e)

To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic, and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

Art. 51 A (f)

To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

Art. 51 A (g)

To value, protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures.

Art. 51 A (h)

To develop the scientific temper, humanism, and spirit of inquiry and reform.

Art. 51 A (i)

To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

Art. 51 A (j)

To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.

Art. 51 A (k)

Duty of the parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child, as the case may be, between the age of six and fourteen years (added by 86th Amendment Act, 2002).

Criticism of Fundamental Duties

  • Narrow Coverage − It just covers the fundamental functions. Voting, paying taxes, and family planning do not fall within this category.

  • Ambiguous − Some of the responsibilities are ambiguous and difficult to grasp for a layperson. It includes phrases such as lofty thoughts, scientific attitude, and so on.

  • Non-justiciable − Because they are non-justiciable, detractors have portrayed them as a set of moral principles.

  • Reduced Significance − By including Fundamental Duties as an appendix to Part IV of the Indian Constitution, their worth and relevance have been diminished; they should have been included after Part III to maintain them on par with Fundamental Rights.


The fundamental duties serve as a reminder to the populace that while they should use their rights, they should also be aware of the obligations they have to their nation, society, and fellow citizens. They serve as a source of inspiration for residents, encouraging discipline and devotion and serving as a deterrent against anti-national and anti-social behaviors such as burning the national flag and damaging public property.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which Fundamental Duty was added by the 86th Amendment Act?

Ans. The Fundamental Duty established by the 86th Amendment Act compels citizens to offer educational opportunities for their children or wards aged six to fourteen years.

Q2. Which committee proposed adding fundamental duties to the Indian Constitution?

Ans. In 1976, the Swaran Singh Committee suggested that Fundamental Duties be added to the Constitution.

Q3. Which amendment act added 10 fundamental duties to the Indian Constitution?

Ans. The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 established 10 fundamental duties.

Q4. The Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the Constitution of which country?

Ans. The Fundamental Duties in the Indian Constitution are inspired by the Constitution of the erstwhile USSR.

Q5. Why Fundamental Duties are framed?

Ans. The Fundamental Duties are regarded as the moral obligations of all people to encourage patriotism and protect India's unity. These responsibilities, outlined in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1976, apply to both individuals and the nation.

Updated on: 16-Feb-2023


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