New Delhi, (IANS) : Out of the 4,48,268 applications received for Haj 2017 by the Haj Committee of India, 1.29 lakh applications were made online, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Friday.
India has a quota of 1.70 lakh pilgrims, after an increase of 34,000 berths for this year’s Haj under an agreement signed with Saudi Arabia on January 11, 2017. Till last year, India had a quota of 1.36 lakh pilgrims.
Haj quota of the states was released on Thursday and the process of selection of pilgrims through a draw of lots will start from March 14, Naqvi said.
It is for the first time that the Haj application process has been made digital. The Haj Committee of India Mobile App was launched on January 2 this year.
“We encouraged online applications for Haj 2017 so that people can get an opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort. In December, a new website of Haj was also launched,” the minister said.
The highest number of online applications were received 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).
The increased quota of 34,000 pilgrims has been distributed across the states.
So, Uttar Pradesh now has a quota of 29,017 persons, up from 21,828 till last year. Similarly, Gujarat’s quota has been hiked to 10,877 from 7,044; that of Delhi to 1,628 from from 1,224; Jammu and Kashmir’s quota has been increased to 7,960 from 6,359; Karnataka’s to 5,951 from 4,477 and Haryana’s is now 1,343 from 1,011.
A total of 9,780 pilgrims will go to Haj from Maharashtra in comparison of 7,357 last year. Tamil Nadu’s quota has been increased from 2,399 to 3,189; for West Bengal from 8,905 to 9,940; Telangana from 2,532 to 3,367; and Rajasthan’s from 3,525 to 4,686 this year.
Madhya Pradesh’s Haj quota has been increased from 2,708 to 3,599; Andhra Pradesh’s from 2,052 to 2,728 while Jharkhand’s quota has been increased from 2,719 to 3,306.
Last year, around one lakh people went to Haj from 21 embarkation points across India through the Haj Committee of India, while about 36,000 pilgrims went through private tour operators.
This year, around 1.25 lakh pilgrims will go through the Haj Committee of India while 45,000 people will go through private tour operators.
The maximum number of applications have been received from Kerala (95,236) followed by Maharashtra (57,246); Gujarat (57,225); Uttar Pradesh (51,375); Jammu and Kashmir (35,217); Madhya Pradesh (24,875); Karnataka (23,514) and Telangana (20,635).