The Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs (Independent Charge) and Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi launched Hajj Committee of India Mobile App at Hajj House in Mumbai on Monday, a PIB handout said.
Speaking on the occasion, Naqvi said that it is for the first time that Hajj application process is going to be digital. "This mobile app would be available on Google Playstore from today (2nd January 2017)," he added.
Next Hajj has already been announced and application will be accepted from today. The last date for submitting applications is 24th January.
The Ministry of Minority Affairs has joined digital India campaign in a big way, Naqvi said. "Several processes have been made in this regard. The Centre has been encouraging online applications to ensure fair opportunity for the pilgrimage with complete transparency and comfort," he said.
The PIB handout said that applying for Hajj, enquiry and information, news and updates and e-payment are main features of Hajj Committee of India Mobile App. "Application for Hajj can be made directly from the app. Five adults and two infants can apply together as a group. A PDF copy of the form will go to applicant's email. After affixing the photo, the printout with documents is to be sent to the state Hajj committees. Registration fees can also be made through this app," the handout added.
Naqvi said that last month a new website of Hajj was launched in New Delhi. The website is in Hindi, Urdu and English languages which will provide all the necessary information regarding Haj.
Naqvi said that the website would also be very useful for those who will be applying for Hajj online. "The website gives detail information regarding Ministry of Minority Affairs, Hajj Department, Hajj pilgrimage, rules and regulations on Hajj, Hajj Committee of India and private tour operators. The website also has "Do's and Don'ts" during Hajj pilgrimage and also a film informing about various aspects of the pilgrimage.
He said that the Central Government and Hajj Committee of India have already started preparations to ensure that the next Hajj is completely smooth and convenient for the pilgrims.
Naqvi said: "Several important suggestions have been received on Hajj pilgrimage. Discussions have been held with officials of Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure aircrafts with modern facilities for Hajj pilgrims."
The PIB handout said that during Hajj 2016, about 45,843 people had applied for Hajj online which was about 11 per cent of total applications received from across the nation for Hajj. Efforts are on to make the process of online application simple and easy so that more and more people can apply online for next Hajj pilgrimage. Maharashtra topped in online applications for Hajj 2016 with a total of 10,960 people applying online followed by Kerala with 9257 online applications and Uttar Pradesh with 5407; 2983 from Telangana; 2426 from Jammu and Kashmir and 2425 online applications had been received from Gujarat.
About 99,903 people went to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for Hajj from 21 embarkation points across India through Hajj Committee of India during Hajj 2016. Apart from this, about 36,000 Hajj pilgrims had proceeded for Hajj through the private tour operators," the PIB handout added.