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Government And Administration

The state of Kerala was formed on November 1, 1956, when the princely states of Travancore and Cochin were merged with Malabar as part of the implementation of the States Reorganization Act-1956. Trivandrum, now known as Thiruvananthapuram, became capital of the state and seat of the State Government of Kerala.

As in the rest of India, the State Government of Kerala is elected by the people of the state and is headed by the Governor who is the figure head akin to the President of India. The headquarters of the state government are located in the capital, Thiruvananthapuram at Kerala Government Secretariat or Hajur Kutcherie.


The President of India appoints the Governor of Kerala who must be a citizen of India above the age of 35 years, for a term of five years as he does for all other states. Constitutional duties such as appointing the Chief Minister, reporting issues related to bills passed by the state legislature, failure of constitutional machinery and opinions regarding governance in the state to the President, lie in the purview of the Governor.  The different powers enjoyed by the Governor include Executive powers concerning administration of the state, important appointments and dismissals, Legislative powers concerning enacting of state laws and discretionary powers are vested in the Governor.


As in all States of India, the High Court of Kerala is the apex court for the state. The jurisdiction of Kerala High Court extends over the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The Chief Justice is the head of the state judiciary and along with other judges have all judicial authority that is accorded to high court judges. The Chief Justice and other judges are appointed by the President of India.

The Executive and Legislature

Executive and legislative powers lie with the Chief Minister who is head of the executive and state legislature and is the representative of the people. The Chief Minister is leader of the majority political party and selects his council of ministers from other elected members of his party. The Chief Minister who is appointed by the Governor along with his council of ministers wields executive and legislative powers.

Presently, the Chief Minister of Kerala is Oommen Chandy, who took oath on 13 May 2011 for this august post. In the state general elections, political parties highlight their Chief Ministerial candidate who is the accepted head of the party.

Administrative Divisions

For administrative efficiency and control the State of Kerala has been divided into 14 districts which are further subdivided into 21 revenue divisions, 14 District Panchayats, 63 taluks, 152 CD blocks, 1453 revenue villages, 978 Gram Panchayats aiding local self government, 5  Muncipal Corporations for cities and 60 municipalities for towns. Governance is affected through different departments that fall under the various Ministries each headed by a Minister who is a member of the council of ministers. The administrative head of each department is the Secretary who comes from the IAS (Indian Administrative Services). The secretary is assisted by under secretaries, junior secretaries, officers and other staff. A Chief Secretary controls the entire secretariat and staff attached to all ministries.

For further clarity of allotment of duties, each department is divided into sections, each under the control of a section officer who is assigned specific duties. With clear responsibility of work assigned to each administrative officer beginning from secretary, there is no conflict in the duties and powers vested in them, which is an important element of good governance.

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