The Haj Committee of India commonly known as Central Haj Committee (CHC) has been established under the Haj Committee Act 2002, for making arrangements for the pilgrimage of Muslims for Haj, and for matters connected therewith. It is a body corporate having perpetual succession. The Committee discharges the following main functions:-
- Every year, Haj Committee of India organises the All India Annual Conference for Haj. Chairmen & Secretaries of State Haj Committees. Senior Officers of the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Air India, attend the Conference. The Conference reviews the arrangements of pervious Haj and deliberates upon and suggests improvements in the arrangements for next Haj. It also considers the calendar of activities/Action Plan for the next Haj.
- The Haj Committee of India Announces for Haj through leading newspapers all over the country for inviting applications from the intending Pilgrims. The announcement contains the details of the initial amount to be deposited alongwith the Haj Application Form, the categories of accommodation at Makkah Mukarrama , the last date for submission of Haj Application to the State Haj Committee etc.
- The Haj Application Forms and Haj Guideline are made available to the intending Pilgrims through the State Haj Committees, free of cost. The Haj Applications are received by the State Haj Committees from the Pilgrims of their State and submitted to the Haj Committee of India after the expiry of last date, alongwith the consolidated amount of the initial remittance received from the Pilgrims.
- The Haj Quota is fixed by the Government. The State-wise quota of Haj Seats is distributed among the States and Union Territories on the basis of Muslim Population of these States/Union Territories. In case the State Haj Committees receive applications in excess of the quota, then the seats are confirmed to the intending Pilgrims through draw of lots (qurrah).
- The Haj Applications received through the State Haj Committees are scrutinized by the Haj Committee of India. The data is computerised and sent to Consulate General of India, Jeddah. It is utilized for the purposes of making allotment of accommodation at Makkah Mukarrama and Madina Munawwarah, flight allotment and for the monitoring the movement of the pilgrims.
- The Saudi Arabian Authorities decision that the intending Pilgrims must travel on International Passport after receipt of Haj Application Forms from the State Haj Committees. The International Passport of Northern and North-Eastern States are submitted to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, New Delhi for endorsement of Haj-Visa on them whereas the International Passport of Western and Southern States are submitted to the Royal Consulate General of Saudi Arabia, Mumbai for endorsement of Haj-Visa. Around 50% Haj Visas are endorsed by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, New Delhi and the remaining 50% by the Royal Consulate of Saudi Arabia at Mumbai.
- The Haj Applications received through the State Haj Committee are scrutinized by the Haj Committee of India. The Computerized of data is mainly done in the office of Haj Committee of India. The same is compiled and checked by Zonal Incharge in Haj Committee of India. After ensuring that the data is error free, the same is transmitted to Consulate General of India, Jeddah and different agencies involved in Haj arrangements in their required formats for their onward utilization. The same data is utilized by Consulate General of India, Jeddah for allotment of Accommodation and flight.
- The amount in Indian currency is collected from the Pilgrims according to the Category of accommodation opted by them. The same is utilized for making payment towards Accommodation Rentals and Compulsory Dues. The balance amount is paid to the Pilgrim in the shape of Saudi Arabian Riyal in cash at the respective Embarkation Points in India, for meeting day to day expenses during the period of stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- The rate of Saudi Riyal in terms of Indian Rupees is fixed, through tender process by the Haj Committee of India after inviting quotations from the banks dealing in foreign exchange. The rate of Saudi Riyals remain valid for the entire Haj Season. On finalization of rates of Saudi Riyal, the Pilgrims are requested to remit balance amount of foreign exchange to Haj Committee of India, Mumbai, through core banking only.
- The amount of airfare is also notified and the Pilgrims are advised to remit the same to the Haj Committee of India, Mumbai through core banking only
- On finalization of Flight Schedules the allotment of flights is made. The Pilgrims are informed about their date of departure and advised to report at the Embarkation Point two days in advance of flight to complete the booking formalities.
- The Haj Flights are operated from twenty one(21) Embarkation Points. The Haj Committee of India Mumbai deputes their staff to these Embarkation Points to set up Camp Offices for assisting the State Haj Committees in making booking of the Pilgrims, verification of remittance and distribution of travel documents to the Pilgrims.
- Haj Committee of India makes necessary arrangements towards supply of Meningitis Vaccine & Polio Vaccine from the Health Departments of All States/Union Territories Haj Committees through Director General Health Services, Government of India, New Delhi. The intending Pilgrims are inoculated against Meningitis as required under W.H.O. norms. A certificate of inoculation has to be obtained by the pilgrims, after receiving inoculation, from the concerned Health Authorities. During Haj 1427 (H)-2006-II (AD) Polio Vaccine was also made compulsory by W.H.O. and the same was administered to each Pilgrim before their departure to K.S.A.
- Haj Committee of India distributes Haj Guide among the intending Pilgrims. The book contains necessary information about rituals of Haj & Umrah, details of the logistic arrangements and important Saudi Regulations. The book is published in ten languages including Urdu, Hindi & English. Haj Committee of India also distributes a pocket-size booklet “Manasik-ul-Haj” containing prayers to be recited while performing the rituals of Haj & Umrah. It is printed in Arabic – Urdu and Arabic – Hindi.
- Haj Committee of India organizes the Orientation/Training Programme for the intending Pilgrims. The Trainers are selected from each District of the State through the State Haj Committees concerned. These Trainers are imparted training for two days at all six zones. The Consulate General of India, Jeddah is invited to impart training to these Trainers about logistics and various Saudi Regulations. The Trainers then organise Training Camps for the intending Pilgrims through the respective State Haj Committees at District level, so as to ensure maximum participation of the intending Pilgrims in these camps. Pilgrims proceeding for Haj through Private Tour Operators are also allowed to attend there Orientation/Training Camps.
- The Group Accident Compensation Scheme for the Pilgrims has been introduced from Haj 1424 (H)-2004 (AD). A one-time premium is being charged from the Pilgrims. Based on quotations from different Insurance Companies, the work is awarded to the lowest bidder.
- In Madina Munawwarah there is a uniform category of accommodation. More than 50% Pilgrims are accommodated inside the Ring Road and the remaining Pilgrims not beyond 850 meters..
- After discontinuation of voyage by ship in the year 1995, all the Haj Pilgrims are transported to Saudi Arabia and back by air only. The job of making necessary arrangements for air-lifting the Pilgrims is assigned to Air India / Saudi Arabian Airlines.