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Fewer applicants for Haj this year

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Fewer applicants for Haj this year
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Kozhikode:  With just four days left for filing applications for haj through the government quota,  a big fall has been noticed in the number of applicants across the country this year.

Compared to the last few years,  Haj 2020 has seen the lowest demand for the government quota.  This is attributed to factors like the change in haj policy and economic crisis. 

The largest number of haj applicants traditionally is from Kerala,  which has so far registered the biggest fall.  While there were 43,171 applicants last year,  it is just 15,453 so far this year.  In 2017 there were 95,236 applicants.

The deadline for filing applications is 10 November. Out of the quota allowed by Saudi Arabia for India, 1,40,000 will be going via central haj committee and the rest  through private agents.

Until now, only around 1 lakh applications have been received from the whole country.  There is an expectation that due to the reduction in applications,  the last date may be exended.

One of the prime reasons for the fall in applicants is the cancellation of the reservation for fifth time applicants, which took effect last year. Therefore, those who pinned hopes on going through via this quota stopped applying.   As per the current systems, only the financially better off are applying, the others being unable to make preparations with no guarantee of getting through.

Further,  switiching all applications via internet caused a dent in the count of applications from north India.

However, 519 of the applicants this year are over 70 and their selection is guaranteed.  Out of women above the age of 45,  there are 755 without mehram and 14,179 in the general category.

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