Tamil Nadu (pop.72 million) is the country’s second largest state economy with a gross domestic product (GDP) of Rs.17.26 lakh crore, growing at 11.46 percent per year. This state hosts the country’s largest number of industrial factories (over 37,000) engaged in the manufacture of engineering, pharmaceuticals, garments, textile, leather, chemicals, and plastic goods and products. Tamil Nadu is also a leading producer of agricultural crops and value added agri-industry products. For instance, it’s the largest producer of bananas, turmeric, flowers, tapioca; the second largest grower of mango, natural rubber, coconut, groundnuts and the third largest producer of coffee, sapota, tea and sugarcane.
This south-eastern seaboard state has a long coastline extending 1,076 km and hosts three major and 17 small ports connected with excellent road and rail networks and seven airports. The port city of Chennai, the admin capital, as also tier II-III cities of Coimbatore, Madurai, Vellore and Salem enjoy a national reputation for providing high-quality primary-secondary and higher education especially in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects with the state hosting the largest number of engineering colleges (526) in India.