Fundamental Duties, enshrined in Part IV-A of the Indian Constitution under Article 51A, are a set of moral and ethical principles that guide citizens in their responsibilities towards the nation. These duties were added to the Constitution in 1976 through the 42nd Amendment Act and serve as a reminder that citizenship is not just about rights, but also about obligations.
Fundamental Duties of Indian Constitution
The Swaran Singh Committee, in 1976, proposed a set of Fundamental Duties, which became necessary during the internal emergency of 1975-77. These duties were officially incorporated into the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, which introduced 10 Fundamental Duties.
In 2002, the 86th Amendment Act added an 11th Fundamental Duty to the original list of 10. These duties are enshrined in Article 51A of Part-IVA of the Indian Constitution. These Fundamental Duties are outlined in Article 51A, found in Part-IVA of the Indian Constitution.
This topic holds significance for the IAS Exam, as questions related to Fundamental Duties appear in all three stages of the exam: Prelims, Mains, and the Interview.
Fundamental Duties List
There is 11 Fundamental Duties listed in the Indian Constitution under Article 51-A.
Fundamental Duties List
Responsibilities and Duties
Abide by the Constitution and respect the national flag & National Anthem
Follow ideals of the freedom struggle
Protect sovereignty & integrity of India
Defend the country and render national services when called upon
Developing the spirit of common brotherhood
Preserve composite culture of the country
Preserve natural environment
Develop scientific temper and humanity
Safeguard public property and avoid violence
Strive for excellence in all spheres of life
Duty of all parents/guardians to send their children in the age group of 6-14 years to school.
Fundamental Duties Borrowed From
The concept of Fundamental Rights in India is taken from the United States Constitution. India’s Constitution framers incorporated various elements from different global constitutions. Fundamental Rights in India are essential rights granted to individuals, ensuring their ability to live with dignity and integrity.
Fundamental Duties Amendments
The history and origin of Fundamental Duties in India can be traced back to the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976, which added a new part, Part IVA, to the Indian Constitution. This addition marked a significant development in the Indian legal landscape. The idea of incorporating Fundamental Duties was inspired by the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee, which was appointed by the government to suggest ways to reinforce the sense of civic responsibility among citizens.
These duties draw inspiration from the Directive Principles of State Policy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They were included to emphasize the importance of balancing individual rights with collective responsibilities. Initially, there were ten Fundamental Duties, but the 86th Amendment Act of 2002 added one more, bringing the total to eleven.
Criticism of Fundamental Duties
Critics have raised several concerns about the Fundamental Duties outlined in Part IVA of the Constitution:
Moral Code: Detractors argue that these duties, being non-justiciable, are essentially a set of moral principles. Some believe their inclusion in the Constitution was unnecessary, as people would naturally follow these duties without constitutional guidance.
Complex Language: Some of the duties are expressed in a vague and complicated manner, making them difficult for the common person to understand and apply in their daily lives.
Incompleteness: Critics contend that the list of duties is incomplete, missing key obligations such as voting, paying taxes, and family planning. Notably, the Swaran Singh Committee recommended adding the duty to pay taxes.
Placement: The placement of Fundamental Duties as an appendix to Part IV of the Constitution has been criticized for diminishing their importance. Critics argue that they should have been positioned after Part III, alongside Fundamental Rights, to highlight their equal significance.
Rejected Recommendations: The Swaran Singh Committee had proposed more than 10 Fundamental Duties, some of which were not incorporated into the Constitution. These omitted recommendations included the possibility of parliamentary penalties for non-compliance with these duties, with no legal challenge based on Fundamental Rights or constitutional provisions, and the explicit duty to pay taxes.
These criticisms reflect ongoing debates about the nature and relevance of Fundamental Duties in India’s constitutional framework.
Fundamental Rights and Duties: Know the Difference
Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties together form the core of the Indian Constitution, balancing individual freedoms with societal responsibilities. While Fundamental Rights protect citizens from state intrusion, Fundamental Duties promote a sense of civic duty and national consciousness among citizens.
Know the difference between Fundamental Rights and Duties in the table given below:
Difference Between Fundamental Rights and Duties
Rights conferred upon citizens by the Constitution to protect their individual liberties and interests.
Moral and civic obligations that citizens are expected to fulfill for the betterment of society.
Enshrined in Part III (Articles 12-35) of the Indian Constitution.
Inserted in Part IV-A (Article 51A) through the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976.
Citizens can directly approach the judiciary (courts) to seek remedies in case of violation.
No direct legal remedies for violation; they are non-justiciable, meaning they cannot be enforced by the courts.
Individual vs. Society
Primarily focused on protecting individual interests and freedoms, such as the right to life, liberty, equality, and expression.
Emphasize civic responsibilities towards the nation and society, like upholding the integrity of the country and promoting scientific temper.
Nature of Rights
Negative rights, limiting the interference of the state in the lives of citizens.
Positive duties, requiring citizens to actively contribute to the welfare of society.
Not absolute; subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of sovereignty, security, and public order.
Absolute, meaning they must be followed without exceptions.
Applicable only to citizens of India.
Initially applicable to citizens but extended to non-citizens in certain cases by judicial interpretations.
Violation of Fundamental Rights can lead to legal action against the government or individuals responsible.
Violation of Fundamental Duties does not lead to legal action; they are more of a moral and ethical guide.
Inspired by the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution.
Inspired by the Directive Principles of State Policy and socio-cultural values.
Right to Equality, Right to Freedom of Speech, Right to Education, etc.
Respect for the National Flag and National Anthem, Promoting scientific temper, Safeguarding public property, etc.
Fundamental Duties UPSC
The Chief Justice of India recently emphasized that the Fundamental Duties in our Constitution go beyond being just technical or pedantic rules. Instead, they were included as a means to drive social transformation.
So, how did these Fundamental Duties find their way into our Constitution? They drew inspiration from the Constitution of Russia, the former Soviet Union. In 1976, the Swaran Singh Committee recommended their inclusion, and they were added as Part IV-A of the Constitution through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act.
Initially, there were ten Fundamental Duties, but in 2002, the 86th Constitutional Amendment Act added one more, bringing the total to eleven. You can find all these duties listed in Article 51-A of the Constitution, which is the only article in Part-IV-A dedicated to them.
Similar to the Directive Principles of State Policy, it’s important to note that Fundamental Duties are not subject to judicial enforcement; they are non-justiciable.
Fundamental Duties FAQs
Q1. What are the 11 Fundamental Duties?
Ans. The 11 Fundamental Duties are listed above in the article.
Q2. Which part has Fundamental Duties?
Ans. Fundamental Duties are listed in Article 51A under Part-IV A of the Indian Constitution.