UPSC » UPSC CSE Study Materials » Law » Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties

Fundamental Rights, Directive Principles and Fundamental Duties

For the proper working of the country’s democratic system, the Constitution of India has provided specific provisions to the citizens and state. The Fundamental Rights are provided in Part III of the Constitution as the essential tool for safeguarding the rights and lives of the citizens. Part IV of the Constitution gives the Directive Principles of State policies. Provisions in this part provide the state with the directions to form policies and laws. Finally, Part IVA of the Constitution provides Fundamental Duties for the people of India. These duties serve as a reminder for the people of their responsibilities towards the country.

Fundamental Rights

Fundamental rights are given in Part III of the Indian Constitution from Articles 12 to 35. They are an essential feature of the Indian Constitution. These rights are necessary for the peaceful and dignified existence of the country’s citizens. The Indian Constitution that deals with the people’s fundamental rights are often described as the Magna Carta of the Indian Constitution.

Fundamental rights are called fundamental because the Constitution guarantees them as its fundamental laws. The state cannot take away these rights from any individual. That said, there can be certain limitations to these rights. The Constitution of the United States inspires the Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution.

The Fundamental Rights given by the Indian Constitution can be classified as:

  • Right to Equality

The Fundamental Rights from Articles 14 to 18 deal with the right to equality. These rights ensure that everyone is treated equally without discrimination and equal employment opportunities.

  • Right to Freedom

The rights from Articles 19 to 22 touch upon the concept of the right to freedom. Provisions in these articles deal with different kinds of personal freedom, choices, and dignity.

Article 19 gives the freedom of six rights that include the right to free speech and expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of forming an association, freedom of movement, freedom of residence, and freedom of choosing any profession. 

  • Right Against Exploitation

Articles 23 and 24 are provided from the concept of rights against the exploitation of individuals. These rights give the provisions to safeguard the people from the evils of human trafficking and child labour.

  • Right to Freedom of Religion

The rights mentioned in Articles 25 to 28 give the people the freedom to practice, profess, and propagate their religious beliefs. The Indian Constitution was made with an idea of a secular state. However, unlike Western democracies, the Indian Constitution doesn’t isolate religion. Rather, it provides for the equal treatment of all religions.

  • Rights for the Minorities

Articles 29 and 30 deal with minority rights. These rights provide for the protection of the language and culture of minorities and give them the freedom to manage educational institutions.

  • Right Relating to the Constitutional Remedies

Often considered an essential right given to the people, Article 32 of the Constitution provides the right to move the Supreme Court to enforce any fundamental rights.

Note: Article 31 of the Indian Constitution, which dealt with the Right to Property, was deleted as one of the Fundamental Rights by the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1976. Following the amendment, the Right to Property was made legal and incorporated in Article 300-A.

The Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSPs)

The Directive Principles of State Policy or simply DPSPs are incorporated in Part IV of the Indian Constitution. The DPSPs are given from Article 36 to Article 51 in the Constitution.

The Directive Principles refer to the ideals and principles that the state must consider while forming a policy or enacting a law in the legislative process.

The Irish Constitution inspired the concept of DPSPs; however, the Irish Constitution was inspired by the Spanish Constitution. The articles dealing with the directive principles deal with various economic, social, and political principles.

Some essential features of DPSPs are as follows:

  • The Directive Principles work as instructions for the state in making policies and enacting laws; in this sense, they are essential to the legislative system.
  • The DPSPs are non-justiciable and can’t be challenged in courts for their violation.
  • The state cannot be compelled to enforce the DPSP.
  • The courts can use DPSPs to determine the constitutional validity of a law of parliament.

The Fundamental Duties

The fundamental duties were not part of the original Constitution; it was only in 1976 when the Parliament of India found it necessary to add fundamental duties into the Constitution of India. 


By the amendment of the Constitution in 1976, a new part was added in the Constitution as Part IV A. This part consists of only one article: Article 51 A. The idea of fundamental duties comes from the former USSR’s Constitution.

Here are some key features of the Fundamental Duties:

  • There are different kinds of duties, such as moral and civic duties.
  • The Fundamental Duties are confined to the citizens of India only, unlike fundamental rights and DPSPs
  • Fundamental Duties are non-justiciable.
  • There is no legal provision or sanctions for the violation of fundamental duties.


The Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution are given from Articles 12 to 35. These articles are fundamental because they are justiciable in a court of law, and the state cannot take them away from the individuals. The DPSPs are instructions or directives given to the state to navigate it to form suitable and proper policies and laws for the betterment of the country’s people. The Fundamental Duties serve as a reminder of people’s responsibility towards the nation.



Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the UPSC Examination Preparation.

What countries' Constitutions, Fundamental Rights, DPSPs, and Fundamental Duties Are Inspired?

Ans. The framers of the Indian Constitution borrowed ideas and values from var...Read full

What articles of the Indian Constitution deal with the right to equality?

Ans. Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 of the Indian Constitution deal with the ...Read full

Which Constitutional amendment added the Fundamental Duties to the Indian Constitution?

Ans. In 1976, the Parliament of India introduced the 42nd Constitutional Amend...Read full

Why are Fundamental Rights also called the Magna Carta of India?

Ans. The Magna Carta was the first legally adopted human right. Magna Carta also served as the first fundamental rig...Read full