The annual season of Hajj begins late-August, but thousands of applications have already been submitted from across India. On Thursday, March 9, the Narendra Modi government announced that the annual Hajj quota has been increased significantly by the Saudi Arabia government, benefitting all the states.
Following the agreement on bilateral annual Hajj between India and Saudi Arabia earlier in January, the government of Saudi Arabia has decided to increase the annual Hajj quota for India by 34,005 – highest the country has witnessed in several years. With this, a total of 1,70,025 people will be travelling to Mecca and Medina to complete their holy pilgrimage this year.
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A majority of the total allotments, 1,25,025 to be precise, will go through Hajj Committee of India, while the remaining 45,000 people will be able to make the arrangements through private travel agencies across the country. The process of selection of pilgrims through draw of lots will start from March 14.
Mentioned below is the list of state-wise allotment for Hajj this year compared with last year:
|States||2017 allotment||2016 allotment|
|Jammu and Kashmir||7960||6359|
Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had also started an online process for submitting applications for Hajj, which turned out to be a huge success. Out of 4,48,268 applications received from all over the country, 1,29,196 applications were done online.
"It is for the first time that Haj application process was made digital. Haj Committee of India Mobile App was launched on 2nd January 2017. The Central Government had encouraged online applications for Haj 2017 so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort," PIB noted in a press release.
Most of the online applications came from Kerala (34,783) followed by Maharashtra (24,627), Uttar Pradesh (10,215), Gujarat (10,071), Jammu and Kashmir (8,227) and Rajasthan (8,091).