India becomes first country to make entire Haj 2020 process digital, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

New Delhi [India], Dec 1 (ANI): India has become the first country in the world which has made the entire Haj 2020 process 100 per cent digital, said Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Sunday.

His comments came after the minister signed the bilateral agreement for the pilgrimage with the Saudi Haj Minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten in Jeddah.

Naqvi said: "An online application, e-visa, Haj mobile app, 'e-MASIHA' health facility, "e-luggage pre-tagging" providing all information in India itself regarding accommodation and transportation in Mecca and Madina will be provided to 2 lakh Indian Muslims going for Haj in 2020."

Adding that that for the first time facilities have been provided for digital pre-tagging of the baggage of pilgrims, the minister said: "This will ensure the Indian pilgrims will get information in India itself about building along with the room allotted to the pilgrims and transportation like details of the bus to be taken by the pilgrims after reaching to the airport in Saudi Arabia."

Naqvi said that this year, a 100 line information centre has been established at Haj House, Mumbai for providing information regarding the entire Haj process.

The minister further said that while on one hand health card is being provided to Indian Haj pilgrims in the country, on the other hand, "E-MASIHA" (E-Medical Assistance System for Indian Pilgrims Abroad), an online system to create and maintain the complete health database of Indian pilgrims along with doctors' prescriptions, medical treatment as well as medicine disbursals, has been developed to deal any emergency in Mecca-Madina.

"Haj Group Organisers (HGOs) have also been connected with 100 per cent digital system which has ensured transparency in their functioning and it has also ensured better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims. For the first time, a portal of HGOs--http://haj.nic.in/pto/ (Portal for Haj Group Organisers) has been developed which contains all the details of HGOs, their packages etc," he added.

Adding that the Ministry of Minority Affairs has taken effective and successful steps during last about 4 years to make Haj and other programmes completely digital/online as a part of Digital India Campaign of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the minister said: "Making the entire Haj 2020 process 100 per cent digital has helped in providing better facilities to people going for Haj and ensured transparency by eliminating middlemen."

In 2020, a total of 2 lakh Indian Muslims will perform Haj that too without any subsidy, he added.

"Online Haj applications received till November 30 include about 15,000 online Haj applications from Jammu and Kashmir. The last date of submission of Haj application is December 5," he said.

He added that India-Saudi Arabia relations have achieved newer heights under the leadership and guidance of Saudi Arabia King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. (ANI)