Punjab Information Technology Board Online Pilgrims Registration

Lahore:June 7: The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on the request of National Haj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has developed and launched ‘Online Pilgrims Registration’ platform for the automation of their operations for Haj 2017. About 9,5000 people from Nigeria will perform haj; 20,000 through private tour operators and 7,5000 through government arrangements. NAHCON approached Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for developing an information and communication technology (ICT) platform replica devised by Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) for Pakistan’s haj operations, exercised during the recent haj management, which was overall widely lauded by majority of the pilgrims. A Nigerian delegation visited Pakistan’s haj mission in Makkah twice to study the haj operations and termed PITB’s haj management system a robust and pilgrim-friendly ICT application. PITB’s technological solution empowering the haj operations has about 15 modules; which mainly include online registration of haj applications, selection of hajjaj through transparent e-balloting, automated flight scheduling and building/rooms allocation, automated and centralised haj camps. A team from PITB visited Nigeria in March 2017 to understand their operations and gather required data. In May 2017, PITB launched Nigeria’s Online Pilgrims Registration and trained five master trainers to further train officials in the 36 states of Nigeria and to extend it to 776 towns. For the coming year, automation of state haj agencies, bio-metric database of all the pilgrims, tracking of pilgrims’ training attendance, vaccination inventory management, tracking of pilgrims’ vaccination, tracking of pilgrims’ visas, flight booking as per qualified air carriers, flight adjustments, building booking, room allocation, finance management system and luggage modules are in the pipeline. PITB’s electronic hajj management system has vastly improved the services for intending pilgrims from Pakistan and curtailed the delays. PITB’s input is extended at every step of haj operations. During the year 2017, 10 designated banks with their 9,061 branches and more than 19,000 bank officials were involved in online registration for 10 days through a centralised system of PITB connected with VPN without a single second downtime, and balloting in 45 minutes on the completion of 10 days registration period, which earlier used to take three months. The recent Hajj operation witnessed 338,696 entries declaring around 89,040 successful. The balloting took place on group leader basis, resulting 22,997 groups successful. PITB initiated the automation of haj operations in 2013, which have been further improved over the years.The news.

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