Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), 01st Dec, 2019:Press release regarding signing of Bilateral annual Haj 2020 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia at Makkah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia today 01st December, 2019:

India has become the first country in the entire world which has made the entire Haj 2020 process 100 per cent digital. Online application, E-Visa, Haj mobile app, “E-MASIHA” health facility, “E-luggage pre-tagging” providing all information in India itself regarding accommodation/transportation in Makkah-Madinah have been provided to Indian Muslims going for Haj.

Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Minister of Minority Affairs, Government of India, said this at Makkah in Jeddah today after signing Bilateral annual Haj 2020 agreement between India and Saudi Arabia with Haj & Umrah Minister of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten.

Shri Naqvi said that for the first time facilities have been provided for digital pre-tagging of baggages of pilgrims. 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 bus to be taken by the pilgrims after reaching to the airport in Saudi Arabia.

Shri Naqvi said that even SIM card has been linked to mobile app which will ensure Haj pilgrims immediately getting all the latest information regarding Haj in Makkah-Madina on their mobile phone. This year, a 100 line information centre has been established at Haj House, Mumbai for providing information regarding entire Haj process.

Shri Naqvi 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 Makkah-Madinah.

Shri Naqvi said that 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.

Shri Naqvi said 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. 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.

Shri Naqvi said that the Indian Government, in coordination-cooperation with Saudi Arabian Government, Indian Consulate and various concerned agencies in Saudi Arabia, is working to ensure safety and better facilities, medical facilities for the pilgrims during Haj 2020. In 2020, a total of 2 lakh Indian Muslims will perform Haj that too without any subsidy.

Shri Naqvi said that online Haj applications received till 30th November include about 15,000 online Haj applications from Jammu and Kashmir. The last date of submission of Haj application is 5th December, 2019.

Shri Naqvi said that the Saudi Arabian Government has always played an active and effective role to ensure safety and better facilities to Indian Haj pilgrims. It is a part of strengthened bilateral relations between the two countries.

Shri Naqvi said that India-Saudi Arabia relations have achieved newer heights under the leadership and guidance of Saudi Arabia His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz and Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. Both the countries share strong cultural, historical, economic and political relations. Saudi Crown Prince His Majesty Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to India and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia in October 2019 and earlier has further strengthened relations between the two countries.

Shri Naqvi thanked The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz for his guidance and active support to make Haj 2019 successful.

Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Shri Ausaf Sayeed, Additional Secretary Ministry of Minority Affairs Shri Jan-e-Alam, Consul General Shri Mohd Noor Rehman Sheikh, Haj Committee of India Chairman Shri Nabi Jinna Sheikh, Haj Committee of India CEO Shri M A Khan and other senior officials were present on the occasion.