As a summary,
* The migration involved 100 employees at 14 different offices at the state of Kerala.
* At the same time there was a migration from legacy text encodings to Unicode. They used a GUI program to convert text in legacy encoding to Unicode (language: Malayalam).
* It is a full software migration to free software, including the operating system.
* They use a Linux distribution based on Kubuntu
* The typesetting software is Scribus.
Some of the encodings were so esoteric we resorted to OCR instead to extract the embedded text. It was quite frustrating to know that somebody - somewhere - knew what each octet represented, but it wasn't remotely Google-able (in English, at any rate).
(Tamil was also problematic, and still is, even with Unicode, as I understand it)
1. Due to communist style of functioning, setting up a business is near impossibility. I know friends who moved their business out of state since its marred with strikes.
2. It is fast becoming Islamic state of India.
3. Infrastructure seems to be dated (single lane road for most part of state) and floods wreak havoc every year.
Tagged as "God's own country" I expect much better from Kerala. However, I always find cliched "most educated" state remarks and self-pat on back without perusing its problems and what is happening to state.
High literacy in Kerala lead to:
Higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate. Higher standard of living, knowing your rights, demand for equal pay, women's empowerment & many more. In Kerala the male to female ratio is healthy unlike rest of India where female feticide is still a problem. Kerala is also way ahead in terms of health & sanitation than rest of India.
While the problems you listed is not unique to Kerala, let me also remind you that India's first IT park is in Kerala and it paved the way for the rest of IT parks in India.
The narrow roads are due to the geography of Kerala which has beautiful winding green mountains, the entire state is on a mountain slopes towards the Arabian sea.
The secular nature of Kerala is worth mentioning too. You will not find any other place in India where people of all faiths live in such harmony & peace. This secular nature of Kerala is one of the reasons why BJP political party is unable to have any headway in Kerala.
Kerala's unusual socioeconomic and demographic situation was summarized by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben:
Kerala, a state in India, is a bizarre anomaly among developing nations, a place that offers real hope for the future of the Third World. Though not much larger than Maryland, Kerala has a population as big as California's and a per capita annual income of less than $300. But its infant mortality rate is very low, its literacy rate among the highest on Earth, and its birthrate below America's and falling faster. Kerala's residents live nearly as long as Americans or Europeans. Though mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out as the Mount Everest of social development; there's truly no place like it.
It's an interesting point. Political activism has been noted before as a plausible contributor to high social capital (especially as traditional social-capital-providing arrangements tend to recede in modern societies), which in turn is a significant contributor to high quality-of-life.
Of course things are not that great if that very same political activism leads to misguided policies which keep you stuck in the middle-income trap, as we see in so many places in South America. But it seems that a legacy of substantial educational achievement (which is lacking elsewhere) has helped Kerala escape that trap.
There are certainly many good things the Communists did, but it has also been the most violent (by democratic standards, not on a North Korea scale). Now, that isn't surprising because that's been the case with communism throughout history. Back then Stalin posters were everywhere, and most of us were only exposed to one side of such people.
It's one of the few (probably only) indian states with an eye on the long term future. Rest have given to sound bytes.