Jeddah/New Delhi: India and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have officially signed the bilateral Haj agreement for 2024, finalizing a quota of 1,75,025 Indian pilgrims. Out of this, 1,40,020 seats are reserved for pilgrims through the Haj Committee of India, benefiting first-time pilgrims, and 35,005 pilgrims can proceed through Haj Group Operators.
The agreement was signed by Smriti Zubin Irani, the Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, along with V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs, and Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Minister of Hajj and Umrah, KSA, in Jeddah.
The Saudi side appreciated India’s digital initiatives facilitating and promoting ease for Haj pilgrims. The Indian government’s encouragement of participation through the Ladies without Mehram (LWM) category was highly valued. Following the agreement signing, Irani and Muraleedharan visited the King Abdulaziz International Airport’s Haj Terminal to oversee arrangements and explore improvements for logistics and monitoring systems for Indian Haj pilgrims’ convenience.