Noted economist and former director of the Centre for Development Studies K.P. Kannan has said that Kerala which has registered progress in various sectors in the past is now facing fresh challenges.

“Though the socio-political movements have been instrumental in the transformation of Kerala society, the political parties that brought about the radical changes in society have now become power centric and lost much of their credibility,” he said. Delivering this year’s “Thirunalloor Karunakaran memorial lecture” here on Tuesday evening, Prof. Kannan said the political parties had also become largely weak to face the new challenges. The fall in population in Kerala almost on par with advanced countries had brought down the rate of enrolment in schools and colleges..

“This gives us an opportunity to give more thrust on the quality of education.” While considerable investment was taking place in the education sector, it has not helped improve the quality of education. Instead, there is apprehension that quality of education has been negatively affected due to commercialisation of the education sector. He said over 25-lakh Malayalis work in the Gulf countries. Almost 30 per cent of the State’s revenue was attributed to remittances from abroad. The inflow of foreign money led to a boom in construction industry. Though it helped increase job opportunities and life style of the people, it also led to a parallel economy of sorts taking over the State.