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May 2019
6:56 PM IST
News Headlines
Twenty-four killed in Afghanistan floods        New Zealand beat India by six wickets in warm-up match        President appoints Modi as Prime Minister        Modi asks NDA MPs to work without discrimination, reach out to minorities        Day after BJP''s massive victory, all eyes now on govt formation        Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after dismal show in LS polls        Surat: 19 students die as fire engulfs commercial complex        Britain''s Brexit-beaten Theresa May announces resignation, to step down on June 7        Two more Indian mountaineers die on Mount Everest, toll of Indians rises to 8        Nadal, Federer set up potential semifinal at Roland Garros        India, New Zealand seek tune-up in warm-up clash        Federer, Nadal threaten Djokovic bid for historic Slam        Uncertainty over Serena fitness, Osaka form at Roland Garros        Sensex, Nifty hit record highs as early trends hint at NDA win        Rupee rises 26 paise to 69.40/USD in early trade ahead of Lok Sabha elections outcome        Chinese man guilty of defrauding Apple out of 1,500 iPhones        US aviation regulator says Boeing hasn't submitted 737 MAX fix        Indian among 18 people arrested in Nigeria for illegal bunkering        US-Japan vision for Indo-Pacific serves as foundation for global partnership: White House        Rahul elected from Wayanad LS seat        
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National News
Saudi Arabia increases India''s Haj quota to 2 lakh after Modi-Salman talks
 
New Delhi: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday increased India''s Haj quota by about 25,000, the third hike in three years, taking the number of pilgrims from the country who can perform Haj to 2 lakh. The decision was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman here.

While T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the MEA, said the implementation of the enhanced quota will depend on logistical and other things, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said it will be effective from this year. "At our request, Saudi Arabia has decided to increase the quota for Haj pilgrims from India to 2 lakh. This gesture is deeply appreciated," Tirumurti told reporters at a briefing on the talks. Naqvi hailed the decision and thanked the prime minister, Saudi Arabia''s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, the crown prince and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. "This is the third hike in consecutive years.

When the Modi government came to power in 2014, India''s Haj quota was 1,36,000, which has now been increased to 2 lakh. This will be the highest number of pilgrims going for Haj from India since independence," Naqvi told PTI. He said this was possible because of Modi''s "very cordial and friendly" relations with the Saudi leadership. This year, 2,340 Muslim women from India will go for Haj without ''Mehram'' or male companion. Also India will be sending the second highest number of pilgrims for Haj after Indonesia, he said.

The government had last year allowed women to go on Haj without Mehram, which saw about 1,300 women going without any male companion. They had been exempted from the lottery system. Last year, Saudi Arabia had increased India''s Haj quota by 5,000 to 1,75,025, while in 2017 it was increased by about 35,000. The Haj subsidy provided by the government was removed last year in the light of a Supreme Court order of 2012. Naqvi had earlier said that digitising Haj-related processes has ensured that the annual pilgrimage remained inexpensive despite the absence of subsidy and made the system "pro-pilgrim".


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INTERNATIONAL NEWS
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KERALA NEWS
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