Part IV of the Indian Constitution deals with Directive Principles of our State Policy (DPSP).
The provisions contained in this Part cannot be enforced by any court, but these principles are fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.
The concept of Directive Principles of State Policy was borrowed from the Irish Constitution. While most of the Fundamental Rights are negative obligations on the state, DPSPs are positive obligations on the state, though not enforceable in a court of law.
Article 36: Definition
In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “the State” has the same meaning as in Part III.
Article 37: Application of the principles contained in this Part
The provisions contained in this Part shall not be enforced by any court, but the principles therein laid down are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country and it shall be the duty of the State to apply these principles in making laws.
Article 38: State to secure a social order for the promotion of the welfare of the people
(1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life.
(2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
Article 39: Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State
The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing –
(a) that the citizen, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(b) that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good;
(c) that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment;
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;
(f) that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment.
Article 39A: Equal justice and free legal aid
The State shall secure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice, on a basis of equal opportunity, and shall, in particular, provide free legal aid, by suitable legislation or schemes or in any other way, to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
Article 40: Organisation of village panchayats
The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.
Article 41: Right to work, to education and to public assistance in certain cases
The State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old age, sickness and disablement, and in other cases of undeserved want.
Article 42: Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief
The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
Article 43: Living wage, etc., for workers
The State shall endeavor to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or co-operative basis in rural areas.
Article 43A: Participation of workers in management of industries
The State shall take steps, by suitable legislation or in any other way, to secure the participation of workers in the management of undertakings, establishments or other organisation engaged in any industry.
Article 44: Uniform civil code for the citizen
The State shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.
Article 45: Provision for free and compulsory education for children
The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years.
Article 46: Promotion of educational and economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
The State shall promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation.
Article 47: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health
The State shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purpose of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.
Article 48: Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry
The State shall endeavour to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.
Article 48A: Protection and improvement of environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife
The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
Article 49: Protection of monuments and places and objects of national importance
It shall be the obligation of the State to protect every monument or place or object of artistic or historic interest, declared by or under law made by Parliament to be of national importance, from spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, removal, disposal or export, as the case may be.
Article 50: Separation of judiciary from the executive
The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public services of the State.
Article 51: Promotion of international peace and security
The State shall endeavour to –
(a) promote international peace and security;
(b) maintain just and honourable relations between nations;
(c) foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings of organised people with one another; and
(d) encourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration.