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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Highlight the salient features of the Fundamental Duties in the Indian constitution. Also, discuss the ways in which different ministries can play a constructive role in the promotion of the individual fundamental duties. (150 Words)

    15 Apr, 2022 GS Paper 2 Polity & Governance

    Approach

    • Introduce Fundamental Duties.
    • Highlight its salient features.
    • Discuss the ways in which different ministries can play a constructive role in the promotion of individual fundamental duties.

    Answer

    The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, based on the recommendations of the Swaran Singh Committee. Today, there are 11 Fundamental Duties described under Article 51-A, of which 10 were introduced by the 42nd Amendment and the 11th was added by the 86th Amendment in 2002

    These are statutory duties, not enforceable by law, but a court may take them into account while adjudicating on a matter. The idea behind their incorporation was to emphasize the moral obligation of the citizen in exchange for the Fundamental Rights that he or she enjoys. The concept of Fundamental Duties is taken from the Constitution of the USSR.

    The various ministries can promote the objectives of the Fundamental Duties in following ways

    • Home Ministry: It can promote the duty of - respect institutions, executive, legislature and judiciary; maintain the dignity of the Constitution; the national anthem and flag.
    • Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment: “Cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired the freedom struggle: “freedom, equality, non-violence, brotherhood and world peace.” If citizens remain committed to these ideals, we will be able to rise above the various separatist tendencies raising their ugly heads now and then, here and there.
    • Defence Ministry: It can emphasize on the duty to defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.
    • Women and Child Development Ministry: It should try to encourage masses “to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.”
    • Culture Ministry: The duty to “Value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.” and “Promote harmony and spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities;
    • Environment and Forests Ministry: “Protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.”
    • S&T and HRD Ministry: It can focus on duties to “Develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform”, “Safeguard public property and abjure violence” and ”Strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity.”

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