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Kerala - India

            Kerala  is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. To its east and northeast, Kerala borders Tamil Nadu and Karnataka; to its west and south lie the Indian Ocean islands of Lakshadweep and the Maldives, respectively. Kerala nearly envelops Mahé, a coastal exclave of Pondicherry. Kerala is one of four states that compose the linguistic-cultural region known as South India. The principal spoken language is Malayalam, but other languages are also spoken.

First settled in the 10th century BC by speakers of Proto-South Dravidian, Kerala was influenced by the Mauryan Empire. Later, the Cheran kingdom and feudal Namboothiri Brahminical city-states became major powers in the region. Early contact with overseas lands culminated in struggles between colonial and native powers. The States Reorganisation Act of 1 November 1956 elevated Kerala to statehood.

Social reforms enacted in the late 19th century by Cochin and Travancore were expanded upon by post-independence governments, making Kerala among the Third World's longest-lived, healthiest, most gender-equitable, and most literate regions. Though the state's basic human development indices are roughly equivalent to those in the developed world, the state is substantially more environmentally sustainable than Europe and North America. Nevertheless, Kerala's suicide, alcoholism, and unemployment rates rank among India's highest.[6] A survey conducted in 2005 by Transparency International ranked Kerala as the least corrupt state in the country.

The widely disputed etymology of Kerala is a matter of conjecture. In the prevailing theory, Kerala is an imperfect Malayalam portmanteau that fuses kera ("coconut palm tree") and alam ("land" or "location"). Another theory is that the name originated from the phrase chera alam ("Land of the Chera"). Natives of Kerala, known as Keralites or Malayalees, thus refer to their land as Keralam. Kerala's tourism industry, among others, also use the phrase God's Own Country.