Why does kerala have highest human development Index (HDI) amongst all Indian states?

Posted on Posted in India


-It has highest literacy rate (93.91%),highest life expectancy rate nearly 74 years,highest sex ratio (1084 females per 1000 males).

-Least corrupt states in India as per a survey in 2015.

-India’s cleanest and healthiest state and five of the ten most livable cities in India are in Kerala.

The Kerala model is not  a model of good  governance, it is a model of excellent self-governance.

  It’s achievements are due to the work of  social organaisations,volunteers,people,NGO’s.

People in kerala have not depended on any leader or government for achieving these,these are the achievement’s of their own work.

One of the most amazing thing is that ,in most in Kerala’s villages ,the  Gram Panchayat’s here are very aggressive regarding their rights. Compared to other states, there is very little pollution in other villages in India, garbage is not thrown  all over and river fronts are quite clean.

If the Panchayats don’t do their work, then the local people and party units will take them to task.

Government officials can’t give flimsy excuses to deny people their rights.

Volunteer and some NGO provide free sanitation to those who are not able to afford it.

The parameter where Kerala is way ahead than any other Indian state is Healthcare.  Kerala has the best healthcare system in Asia after Japan and Singapore. Many Indian states have been sacrificing health and education budgets for decades to show a good GDP.

There are many economists in India  who believe that Kerala’s high HDI is due to the  Gulf Boom.

The Gulf Boom started in the 1970’s, but  Kerala’s HDI even before that, was almost many times higher than the national average. In 1951, for e.g , Kerala had a literacy rate of 51%, while the national average was 18%.

     What the Gulf boom did was offer a middle class lifestyle to a large section of people, increasing access to higher education and privatized healthcare.

But access to basic education and sanitation and healthcare was higher than national standards even before that.

Few more reason may be-

Few Reasons are:
a) Ruled for many years by democratically elected communist government which broke backbone of feudal system by introducing land reforms. It spent heavily on public healthcare and education. Focus was more on redistribution rather than income growth.
b) Equally strong opposition ensured Kerala didn’t follow West Bengal model.
c) Role of christian missionary, Shree Narayan Guru, Kingdom of Travancore in spreading education

Reason for kerala’s high literacy rate-

-Socio-economic segregation was prevalent in Kerala during 19th century like any other state in India.Temples were accesed only by upper class.Lower class were seen unworthy of education.

The change came in the education scenario as form of social revolution for the equality of lower classes.This social reform movement was a aftermath of the actions of visionaries  like Sree Narayana Guru, Chattambi Swamikal ( who fought towards opening of temples towards the ‘Ezhava’ castes ).

                                                                                   Sree Narayana Guru

They realised that social quality in its true sense can only be achieved if education was made open

to all. This is turn lead to Nair Service Society (Nss) Schools and Sree Narayana schools which are still a strong presence in the current education scenario of Kerala.

-Another big factor that influenced the Kerala-education sector is the introduction of Christian Missionaries in the late 19th century.

The concept of ‘pallikudam’-which has become a synonym for schools in Kerala now, were brought about by the CSI/CMI missionaries. Pallikudam means starting of a school adjacent to the church. The introduction of local schooling further augmented the education sector.
-Another factor which greatly influenced Kerala, was the status of woman in the province during the pre-colonial era. Education was made available to women also, contrary to other areas of the country which faced a patriarchal society.



This sort of collective evangelism is hard  to find in other states.

Facebook Comments

5 thoughts on “Why does kerala have highest human development Index (HDI) amongst all Indian states?

Leave a Reply