Outstanding Kerala

Breaking records: Kerala’s unprecedented industrial growth

04 May, 2023

The Kerala government, headed by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, has exhibited an enduring commitment to innovative and forward-looking approaches towards effective governance. It has become a touchstone of bringing an all-inclusive developmental transformation in a state by introducing and implementing people-centric schemes and policies over the years. Kerala with its exceptional record, among others, in education, health, economy, infrastructure, governance and social development, richly illustrates the dedication of its leadership to the welfare of the people and their needs. The state is positioned to attain the living standards of a developed-country faster than any other state in India.

The government has been tirelessly working towards building a robust infrastructure in order to advance Kerala’s growth. This has been proved by the following examples: 

1. More than 96,000 individuals found employment through job fairs organized under the direction of the labour department to connect job seekers with job providers. Introduced in collaboration with Employment Exchanges, now converted to Employability Centres, the scheme aimed at accelerating employment opportunities in the state. 

2. The government worked towards boosting entrepreneurship in the state with Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), sanctioning Rs 33.72 crore under its seed fund and scale-up schemes to promote startup businesses in the state. 

3. The Tribal Employment Exchange Career Guidance Centre in Palode, Thiruvananthapuram, which is India’s first such centre, recruited more than 450 people in permanent, temporary, and daily-wage categories since its inception in 2018. In an effort to bring tribal youth into various professions and help them transition to new fields, the guidance centre connects them with relevant schemes. These include schemes for destitute women (Saranya), the differently abled (Kaivalya), enterprises in the unorganized sector (Multi-Purpose Job Club), and the registered unemployed (KESRU) among others, which provide them with self-employment loans.

4. In the non-conventional energy sector, Kerala set a new record with a total installed capacity of 1028 MW from renewable sources like wind power, solar power, and small hydro-electric projects.

5. For increasing developmental activities to ensure the welfare of migrant workers, various schemes have been in place, such as health insurance cards, residences under the ALAI scheme, and hostel facility under the Apna Ghar scheme.

6. The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA), which is central to the idea of eco-friendly industrial growth, recorded an investment surge from I786.8 crore during 2011-16 to I1,511 crore during 2016-21. 

The Kerala government has led in making policies that look at the growth of the state in tandem with futuristic technologies. KFON, the pivotal project of the first Pinarayi Vijayan government, completed two years in 2023. The project aimed at making internet a basic right of the people. It was introduced to provide internet connection to the poorest households, actively addressing the issue of digital divide. The idea behind it is to create job opportunities, provide remote healthcare, bring smart cities and infotainment, and share best financial, agricultural, and e-governance practices among others.

Along with economic development, the Pinarayi Vijayan government has significantly directed its attention towards social welfare spending. In 2019, in order to provide quality medical assistance to the economically weaker citizens of the state population, the government merged all central and state health care schemes and formulated the Karunya Arogya Suraksha Padhathi (KASP), a major healthcare scheme of the state government. It aims to provide a health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per family for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 42 lakh poor and vulnerable families that form the bottom 40% of its population.


The Kerala government was one of the first states in the country to actively take action for combating the spread of COVID-19. Kerala hosts India’s most robust healthcare infrastructure. It had set up dedicated facilities for handling the pandemic, while implementing a rigorous tracing system and public awareness campaigns. The work of the Kerala government was widely appreciated. The state has also been recognized for its proactive healthcare policies. 

According to the National Tuberculosis Report 2023, released by the Union Ministry of Health, Kerala has the lowest number of tuberculosis cases in India. The ‘Nalumani Pookkal’ project in Idukki, intended to eradicate tuberculosis, has been hailed as the best model project for the goal. The ranking of the state is an evidence of its continued efforts towards eliminating the disease. 

The government has significantly promoted and effectively sustained its work for improving on the health infrastructure of the state, as well as enlarging the free and accessible healthcare initiatives. Aardram Mission has been implemented to transform public healthcare, while focusing on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: “Good Health and Well-being.” Under this, many primary, family, and community health centres were setup all over the state. 

In the health sector, Kerala is at par with the standards of developed countries. It is at the forefront of meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals. The government has invested in primary healthcare services by modernizing the infrastructure, while setting the foundation for equity, coordination across sectors, as well as the participation of people.


The Kerala government has undertaken radical changes in improving the education system of the state. It has displayed an unwavering commitment towards boosting the availability of high-quality education across all sectors of the population. Kerala boasts of the country’s highest literacy rate at 94 percent. The government has supported that with various schemes. 

Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) is a flagship programme that intends to connect over 30,000 government and educational institutions with high-speed optical fibre connectivity. Kerala was declared as India’s first digital state, which helped the state in adapting to the COVID-19 induced restrictions. Under the scheme, free internet will be provided to economically backward houses, resulting in a paradigm shift towards e-literacy. 

Through a comprehensive reform plan, the government is aiming to bring infrastructure development, as well as curriculum and pedagogical changes. The government has already introduced progressive measures to improve the quality of education. One such programme is the Hi-Tech school, a major force in revamping public education in the state. Statewide launch of high-tech classrooms, in January 2018, were aimed at providing digital education means to government and aided high schools, higher secondary schools and vocational higher secondary schools.

The Kerala government increased its expenditure in supporting higher education in the state, with special emphasis on entrepreneurship, research, as well as startups and incubation centres in universities. For that, Rs 350 crore has been allocated for skill development programmes in the state. The project was implemented to expedite Kerala’s transition into a knowledge economy. 

Women Empowerment

The Kerala government has introduced gender budgeting in its annual budget, displaying an unprecedented attentiveness towards gender-sensitive issues, programmes, and the demands of women. The government has strongly emphasised on promoting policies and schemes to bridge the gender gap. The progress of the state has been linked to its efforts in empowering women comprehensively, across areas such as health, employment, politics, education, and safety. The government has continually raised its budget for women empowerment. One such programme for women is Kathorthu, launched in February 2021. Its objective is to provide women, within 48 hours of registering, free online counselling, legal aid and police assistance, also saving them the time and money required to visit the associated offices or institutions for the services.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan introduced the initiative called “Pink Protection” under the Kerala Police, in July 2021, which aimed at protecting women in public, private and digital spaces. For the project, 10 cars, 40 two-wheelers, including bullet bikes and 20 bicycles, were allotted. The project deals with dowry, cyber bullying, and humiliation in public places.

The government has taken crucial steps to improve the status of female labour participation in the workforce, by providing skill training programmes and investing in women’s higher education. For instance, the Gender Park, established in 2013, is a government initiative to build a campus space as a platform for policy analysis, research, advocacy, capacity development, and socio-economic initiatives, with a key focus on gender justice. It brings together the state, academia and civil society for gender-related issues under a single platform. It is the first space of its kind that has also become the centre for all gender specific activities in the region. These make Kerala's success story an outstanding yet replicable model.