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Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) of Indian Constitutuion

Updated on July 22, 2016
Directive Principles of State Policy
Directive Principles of State Policy | Source

What is DPSP?

The directive principles of state policy or DPSP are special guidelines and directions for the state of India and its states to frame policy and make laws. DPSP provisions are grouped together in the part IV of the Indian Constitution.

Directive principles are inspired by the Irish constitution. These are also mentioned in the Sapru committee report in 1945 where these provisions are combined with the Fundamental Rights. The Fundamental Rights were divided in two groups - justifiable and non justifiable rights. Directive principles are the non justifiable rights.

Sources of DPSP

1) Irish Constitution - The makers of the Indian Constitution were greatly influenced by the Irish freedom struggle and so they copied the idea of DPSP from their constitution of 1937 (which is originally copied from Spanish Constitution).

2) USSR Constitution - The Soviet Revolution of 1917 deeply influenced the Indian freedom fighters who became attracted to the ideals of socialism. The theme of socialism is clear in the provisions of DPSP.

3) Declaration of Rights of Man of revolutionary France.

4) Declaration of American Independence.

5) United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

6) Instruments of Instructions, Government of India Act, 1935.

DPSP by Roman Saini


  1. Directive principles are not directly enforceable in any court. But the governments are instructed to follow these ideals to frame policies.
  2. These principles are created to make India a welfare state where every citizen can expect equal rights and social, economic and political justice. The aim is to create a healthy nation protected by a powerful and benevolent democratic government.
  3. If any law is made to promote a Directive policy and it conflicts with one or more fundamental rights, the DPSP will be given preference over the fundamental right (Article 31 C of Indian Constitution added by the 25th Amendment Act of 1971)
  4. Directive Principles are included in the Part IV of the constitution preceded by Fundamental Rights (Part III Art 12-35) and followed by Fundamental Duties (Part IV-A, art 51-A)
  5. There are 17 DPSP described in 19 articles, from art 36 to 51 where first two articles are about definition and application of these principles.
  6. These can be divided in three types or groups - Gandhian principle, socialist principles, and liberal principles.

Directive Principles List (Article 36 to 43B)

All theses principles are listed below in brief for your easy understanding.

Article 36: Definition

Article 37: Application

Article 38: Making a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people

Article 39: Adequate means of livelihood, distribution of resources for common good, prevent concentration of wealth,equal pay for equal work, healthy and suitable work.

Article 39 A: Fair legal system and free legal aid.

Article 40: Organization of village Panchayets.

Article 41: Right to work, assistance to the unemployed and sick, old and others.

Article 42: Maternity relief and good working condition.

Article 43: Living wage for all and cottage industries.

Article 43 A: Participation of workers in management

Article 43 B: Promotion of cooperative societies.

DPSP trick 1
DPSP trick 1 | Source

Tricks to Remember Article 38 to 43B

It is a difficult task to memorize all these rules exactly with the right article number. You can use this trick to do it quiet easily. Just try to remember this sentence:

" WE Like to Play With Mother's Cheap PC"

Here W= welfare (38), E= equal pay (39), L= legal aid (39 A), P= Panchayet (40), W= right to work (41), M= maternity relief (42), C= cottage industry (43), P= participation of employees (43 A), and C= cooperatives (43 B).

DPSP (Article 44 to 51)

There are 8 articles between 44 to 51 which are 44, 45, 46, 47, 48 A, 49, 50 and 51.

Article 44: Uniform civil code.

Article 45: Child care up to age of six.

Article 46: Protection of SC, ST people.

Article 47: Prohibition of intoxicates and increase people's level of nutrition, public health and standard of living.

Article 48: Prohibition of cow slaughter and scientific agriculture and animal husbandry.

Article 48 A: Protection of environment, forests and wildlife.

Article 49: Protection of monuments and other places of national important.

Article 50: Separation of executive and judiciary.

Article 51: Promote international peace and security.

Remember DPSP trick
Remember DPSP trick | Source

More Tricks

Here are more tricks to remember the rest of the articles about directive principles. To remember articles from 44 to 46 you need to memorize this sentence:

"The University cares about Child's Protection".

Here U= uniform civil code (44), C= child care (45) and P= protection of SC/ ST's (46).

For articles 47 to 51 this sentence can help:

"Intoxicants for Cows and Wildlife are not of National importance - the Executive said it Internationally."

Here I= prohibition of intoxicants (47), Cows= slaughter of cows (48), W= wildlife (48 A), N= national importance (49), E= executive and judiciary separation (50), and I= international peace (51).


We know that all the directive principles can be grouped in three classes - 1) Socialist, 2) Gandhian and 3) Liberal. The constitution framers have tried to keep balance between these three principles here.

The principles that follow socialist ideals are Article number 38, 39, 39 A, 41, 42, and 43 A.

The articles that is influenced by Gandhian philosophy are 40, 43, 46, 47 and 48.

These principles follow the western liberal thoughts - 44, 45, 49, 50, and 51.

DPSP vs Fundamental Rights

Directive principles of state policy (DPSP) and Fundamental Rights (FR) often came into conflict while making laws. There were great legal debates regarding one's supremacy over the other.

1951: Champakram Dorairazan Case: Supreme Court gave DPSP supremacy over FR.

1967: Golaknath Case: Supreme Court said FR equals to DPSP.

1973: Kesavananda Bharati Case: Apex court again said both are equal.

1976: 42nd Amendment: According to this amendment Directive principles of state policy will prevail in case of conflict with any Fundamental Right.

1980: Minerva Mills Case: FR is given supremacy over DPSP.


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