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Current Affairs

Fundamental duties

Date: 02 December 2019 Tags: Constitution

Issue

Addressing a Joint Session of Parliament last on the occasion of constitution day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stressed the importance of constitutional duties. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu called for fundamental duties to be included in the school curriculum and the list of the duties to be displayed at educational institutions and at other public places.

 

Background

Fundamental Duties are described in the Constitution, an Emergency-era provision that was introduced by the Indira Gandhi government.

 

Details

  • The Fundamental Duties were incorporated in Part IV-A of the Constitution by the Constitution 42nd Amendment Act, 1976, based on a report by Swaran Singh committee, by Indira Gandhi’s government.

  • 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, during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government.

  • Apart from adding the Fundamental Duties, the 42nd Amendment also changed the Preamble to the Constitution to include the words ‘Socialist and Secular’ to describe India, in addition to its being ‘Sovereign Democratic Republic’.

  • 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 emphasise the 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 Russia.

Fundamental Duties

  • To abide by the constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem.

  • To cherish and follow the noble ideals which inspired our national struggle for freedom.

  • To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.

  • To defend the country and render national service when called upon to do so.

  • To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.

  • To value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture.

  • To protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.

  • To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.

  • To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

  • To strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.

  • Who is a parent or guardian to provide opportunities for education to his child or, as the case may be, ward between the age of six and fourteen years.