The makers of our Constitution knew that independent India was going to face many challenges. Foremost among these was the challenge to bring about equality and well-being of all citizens. They also thought that certain policy direction was required for handling these problems. At the same time, the Constitution did not want future governments to be bound by certain policy decisions.
Therefore, some guidelines were incorporated in the Constitution but they were not made legally enforceable: this means that if a government did not implement a particular guideline, we cannot go to the court asking the court to instruct the government to implement that policy. Thus, these guidelines are ‘non-justiciable’ i.e., parts of the Constitution that cannot be enforced by the judiciary.
Those who framed our Constitution thought that the moral force behind these guidelines would ensure that the government would take them seriously. Besides, they expected that the people would also hold the governments responsible for implementing these directives.
So, a separate list of policy guidelines is included in the Constitution. The list of these guidelines is called the Directive Principles of State Policy.
What Do The Directive Principles Contain?
- the goals and objectives that we as a society should adopt;
- certain rights that individuals should enjoy apart from the Fundamental Rights; and
- certain policies that the government should adopt.
The governments from time to time tried to give effect to some Directive Principles of State Policy. They passed several zamindari abolition bills, nationalised banks, enacted numerous factory laws, fixed minimum wages, cottage and small industries were promoted and provisions for reservation for the uplift of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes were made. Such efforts to give effect to the Directive Principles include the right to education, formation of panchayati raj institutions all over the country, partial right to work under employment guarantee programme and the mid-day meal scheme etc.
List Of A Few Directive Principles
- Welfare of the people : Social, economic and political justice;
- Raising the standard of living; equitable distribution of resources;
- Promotion of international peace;
- Adequate livelihood;
- Equal pay for equal work (for men and women);
- Right against economic Exploitation;
- Right to work;
- Right of children to free and compulsory education;
- Uniform civil code; Prohibition of consumption of alcoholic liquor;
- Promotion of cottage industries;
- Prevention of slaughter of useful cattle;
- Promotion of village panchayats;
Bibliography : NCERT – Indian Constitution At Work