Why Industries Elude Kerala?

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Prashanth Randadath

Kerala is a relatively small state in India but has some of the greatest attributes to its credit. The country’s highest literacy rate is in Kerala which stands at 100%. Located off the Malabar Coast in the South East part of India it a state is known for its beautiful beaches, the lush greenery and the long snarling backwaters which enhance the natural beauty of Kerala and which promotes the tourism industry in the state. Some of the country’s highest earning are from the export of cash crops like spices, coir, and rubber and above all is the ever increasing population of NRIs in the state.
And tomorrow ...?     I understand ... who will live will see ....
photo credit: Francesco Cavallari Photography 

Ever since oil was found in the Middle East countries, Keralites have earned their living working in these countries. Since then the economy of Kerala has been rising and today the state is very highly placed in the economical map of India. But despite such economical boom, there is a very apparent lack of indigenous form of income due to the absence of industries even though the raw materials, the manpower and the climatic conditions are favorable for the setting up of industries. There are many reasons why Kerala does not abound in industries and the prime factor is the lack of space.  Having a high density of population the state is almost a small township and there are no villages in the true sense. The facilities available in these small areas or pocket areas are adequate enough for an almost comfortable lifestyle. Moreover, there is a huge lack of barren land in which industries can be accommodated. The only land that is available is agricultural farmlands which is under the KLU or the Kerala Land Utility Law and needs to satisfy a number of specifications before it can be used otherwise.

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photo credit: Bryce Edwards

Another reason why Kerala lacks in major industries is that the people of Kerala are extremely aware of their social, political and individual rights and duties. It is not so easy to start an industry in a place where the authorities need to be answerable and accountable to those who work under them. Moreover, any industry that is started needs to take care not to disturb the ecological balance, the culture, the agricultural environs and of course the political scenario. For an outsider to start an industry under such circumstances can be a real challenge as we have seen in the case of various industries already started and shut down in the state. Though the education status of the state is supposed to be a boon to the state it has in fact not encouraged the development of the state as in generating jobs or augmenting the income of the state. This is also the reason why Kerala has such a high population of NRIs as being educated and skilled, they turn to places which can compensate these qualities.

Prithviraj (685)
photo credit: P R I T H V I R A J

The people of Kerala are known for their high level of intelligence and sincerity in their work. Most high level white collar governmental jobs in the country are held by Malayalees as the people of Kerala are known as. The IT sector, the para-medical sector and the educational sector  have a high population of educated and highly skilled people from Kerala.

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  • I can not get where it is that you are coming from.

  • Prasad

    Kerala is becoming industry friendly. Many companies from major indian IT hubs and construction industry are expanding to Kerala. Look at the number of job openings listed every day at trigojobs.com for example.