Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the entire Haj 2022 process in India will be 100 percent digital.
Mr Naqvi on Saturday inaugurated an online booking facility at Haj House in Mumbai and later in a statement said that India sends the second largest number of Haj pilgrims after Indonesia.
He said that Hajj 2020 and this year could not take place due to the decision taken by the Saudi Arabian government in view of the COVID-19 and pandemic.
The announcement of Haj 2022 will be made in the upcoming Haj review meeting to be held in New Delhi on October 21 after consultations with the various departments concerned, the statement said.
Officials from the Ministries of Minority Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Health and Civil Aviation, Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, Consul General of India in Jeddah and other senior officials will be present in the upcoming Haj review meeting in the national capital.
He said that special training is being arranged for Haj 2022 for pilgrims in India and Saudi Arabia regarding COVID-19 protocol and health and hygiene.
“The entire process of Haj 2022 in India will be 100 percent digital,” the minister said.
More than 700 women had applied for Haj 2021 under ‘Without’mahram‘ (male partner) and over 2,100 women had applied for Haj 2020 under the same category. Their applications will also be eligible for Haj 2022 if they want to go on pilgrimage, Mr Naqvi said.
Other women can also apply for Haj 2022 without ‘under’mahram‘ category, he said, would exempt all women under the category from the lottery system.
The minister discussed the preparations for Haj 2022 in a meeting with senior officials of the Haj Committee of India on Saturday.