The central government has appointed M A Khan, the registrar of the University of Mumbai, as the new CEO of the Central Haj Committee. By choosing Khan, the government has broken its tradition of appointing a deputy secretary-rank official of the Centre to head the body. The Haj Committee is the nodal agency that regulates the pilgrimage in India.
According to the bilateral agreement between India and Saudi Arabia, 1.70 lakh pilgrims can go for the Haj in 2017. Under the present arrangement, 1.25 lakh will go through the Haj Committee, while 45,000 seats have been earmarked for private operators. Headquartered in Mumbai, the Haj Committee is mandated with looking into the administrative, logistical and day-to-day needs of the pilgrims.
The CEO is appointed for a five-year period and the previous CEO, Ata-ur-Rahman, had been relieved last month. “I have served as registrar at the University of Mumbai and now, I am ready to take on a new responsibility. I will do my best to do justice to the role,” Khan said. He has requested the university to relieve him of his duties by July 20. “Since we are in the middle of the Haj season, I have been asked to join at the earliest. I have asked to be released by July 20 so I can join the Committee on July 21,” he said.