Directive Principles of State Policy (Part 2) -UPSC IAS Exam- Indian Polity...

Directive Principles of State Policy (Part 2) -UPSC IAS Exam- Indian Polity -by Dr Ashok Dhamija


Directive Principles of State Policy laid down in the Constitution from Articles 38 to 43-B are discussed in this Part (also freely subscribe to our YouTube Education channel with about 100 free videos on UPSC IAS and other competitive examinations):

Article 38 of the Constitution

  1. State to secure a social order for the promotion of 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.

[Note: Clause (2) has been inserted by the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978 (w.e.f. 20-6-1979).]

Brief points on Article 38

  • It reaffirms what is mentioned in the Preamble: justice- social, political and economic.
  • SC has held access to roads in hilly areas is necessary to improve economic conditions of people living there [Art. 19, 21 and 38].
  • SC held that taxation is not merely to raise revenue but also to reduce inequalities. Therefore, higher burden is put on rich people by taxes.
  • Right to health, medical aid for a worker in service and retirement. [Art. 21, 38, 42, 43, 46 and 48-A]
  • SC held that if a law is made to improve socio-economic justice, it is prima facie reasonable and in public interest.

Article 39 of the Constitution

  1. Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State.—The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing—

(a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means to 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.

[Note: Clause (f) was modified by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976.]

Brief points on Article 39

  • Using Art. 39(a) to interpret Article 21, SC held “right to livelihood” as a part of Article 21.
  • Nationalisation of sick textile mills, coal mines, etc., was held to be in furtherance of Article 39 (b) and (c).
  • Measures of agrarian reforms were held to be to secure objectives mentioned in the same clauses.
  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, has been enacted to implement Article 39(d) for payment of same amount to men and women workers.
  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, enacted to suppress prostitution.
  • In pursuance of Article 39(f), SC had directed release of all children below 16 years of age from jails.
  • Various Juvenile Justice Acts have been enacted [including Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015].
  • Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.

Article 39-A of the Constitution

39-A. 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.

[Note: This article was inserted by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976, w.e.f. 3-1-1977.]

  • System of lok adalats set up under the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987.
  • Various schemes of free legal aid and legal assistance to poor and middle income groups, and citizens belonging to weaker sections, have been launched.

Article 40 of the Constitution

  1. 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.


  • By the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992, with effect from 24 April 1993, Articles 243-A to 243-O have been inserted in the Constitution (Part 9) and Article 243 amended to introduce Panchayati Raj system in India.

Article 41 of the Constitution

  1. 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.


  • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (NAREGA).
  • Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.
  • Old age pension schemes in certain states.

Article 42 of the Constitution

  1. 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.


  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013

Article 43 of the Constitution

  1. Living wage, etc., for workers.—The State shall endeavour 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.


  • Minimum Wages Act, 1948
  • Various labour laws.

Article 43-A of the Constitution

43-A. 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 organisations engaged in any industry.

Article 43-B of the Constitution

43-B. Promotion of co-operative societies.—The State shall endeavour to promote voluntary formation, autonomous functioning, democratic control and professional management of co-operative societies.


  • Societies Registration Act, 1860
  • Various Cooperative Societies Acts in States.

Watch the YouTube video with full explanation:

This YouTube video is Part 2 of the video series on Directive Principles of State Policy laid down in the Constitution of India. Articles 38 to 43-B are discussed in this Part.

This video is useful for the aspirants of the UPSC Civil Services Examination (for IAS, IPS, IFS, and Group-A Central Services) for the General Studies, Paper 2, for Indian Polity. This lecture is also useful for those appearing for Judicial Service Examinations in India, as also for law students, and also for aspirants of other competitive examinations.

This video has been prepared by Dr. Ashok Dhamija, a former IPS.


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