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What are the Fundamental Duties of an Indian Citizen?

What are the Fundamental Duties of an Indian Citizen? The 42nd Amendment Act of 1976 amended the Indian Constitution by adding ten Fundamental Duties. The 86th Amendment Act of 2002 later added the 11th Fundamental Duty to the list. The Swaran Singh Committee recommended Fundamental Duties in 1976, which were thought to be necessary during the internal emergency of 1975-77.

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Article 51A of Part IV A of the Indian Constitution addresses the Fundamental Duties. This topic like the Difference between fundamental rights and directive principles of state policy is crucial for the IAS Exam because questions on it appear in all three stages: Prelims, Mains, and Interview. 

On that note, let’s discuss in detail all 11 Fundamental Duties and their importance in India to help you fetch a great score in prelims and mains both. 

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Introduction to 11 Fundamental Duties in India

In addition to generating and fostering culture, the fundamental obligations imposed by the 42nd Amendment Act of the Constitution in 1976 enhance the legislature’s hands in implementing these duties in relation to the fundamental rights. 

Let’s discuss the 11 Fundamental Duties under Article 51-A that every Indian citizen must follow:

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  • Obey the Indian Constitution and its principles and institutions, as well as the National Flag and the National Anthem.
  • Keep in mind and follow the great values that inspired the national liberation war.
  • Maintain and defend India’s sovereignty, unity, and integrity.
  • When called upon, defend the country and provide national service.
  • Encourage concord and a spirit of universal brotherhood among all Indians, regardless of religious, linguistic, regional, or sectional differences, and condemn behaviours that are demeaning to women’s dignity.
  • Value and protect the country’s diverse cultural heritage.
  • Protect and improve the natural environment, including woods, lakes, rivers, and wildlife, while also showing compassion for all living things.
  • Develop a scientific temperament, humanism, and an inquiring and reforming attitude.
  • Protect public property and avoid violence.
  • Strive for excellence in all aspects of individual and communal activities so that the nation is always striving for greater levels of effort and performance.
  • Give his child or ward between the ages of six and fourteen educational possibilities. The 86th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2002 added this duty.

Importance of Fundamental Duties- Part IV-A

Fundamental rights are inextricably linked to fundamental duties. The significance of these is seen in the table below:

  • They remind Indian citizens of their responsibilities to society, fellow citizens, and the nation.
  • They warn citizens to avoid anti-national and anti-social behaviour.
  • They inspire the residents and instil a sense of discipline and devotion in them.
  • They assist courts in assessing and determining a law’s constitutionality.

Criticism of Fundamental Duties

Part IVA of the Constitution’s Fundamental Duties have been challenged for the following reasons:

  • Due to their non-justiciable nature, opponents have referred to them as a set of moral precepts. Their inclusion in the Constitution was deemed redundant by opponents. This is due to the fact that the obligations listed in the Constitution as fundamental would be performed by the people even if they were not mentioned in the Constitution.
  • Some of the responsibilities are hazy, confusing, and difficult for the average person to grasp.
  • The list of responsibilities is not exhaustive because it does not include other vital responsibilities like as voting, paying taxes, family planning, and so on. The Swaran Singh Committee, in reality, proposed the taxation duty.
  • Some claim that the fundamental obligations’ significance and relevance have decreased because they are now listed as an annex to Part IV of the Constitution. To maintain equivalence with Fundamental Rights, they need to have been introduced after Part III.
  • Swaran Singh’s Committee proposed more than ten Fundamental Duties, although not all of them were adopted in the Constitution. The following committee-recommended duties were not accepted:
  • The parliament will penalise or punish citizens who fail to comply with or refuse to respect any of their responsibilities.
  • The punishments/penalties imposed by Parliament shall not be challenged in any court on the basis of a violation of any of the Fundamental Rights or a violation of any other provision of the Constitution.
  • The obligation to pay taxes.

 

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