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Ordnance Factory Day 2023 – March 18

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Ordnance Factories DayOrdnance Factory Day is annually observed across India by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) on March 18 to mark the foundation of the 1st Ordnance Factory at Cossipore near Kolkata, West Bengal, in 1801 and honour the contribution of the Indian Ordnance Factories (IOFs) in strengthening India’s defence capabilities.

The day is celebrated by the Indian Ordnance Factories (IOF), under the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

  • Ordnance Factory Day 2023 was observed on 18th March 2023.

The day is celebrated by hoisting the Indian flag, singing the national anthem and then exhibiting various artillery and other items used by the Indian Armed Forces, to the public.

Indian Ordnance Factories:

i. The British rule in India had a direct impact on the development and history of Indian Ordnance Factories.

ii. The Army Ordnance in India was first formed in 1775 when the British government established a Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata, West Bengal.

iii. A gunpowder factory was built in Ishapore in 1787, and it began production in 1791 (at which location Rifle Factory was established in 1904).

iv. A Gun Carriage Agency was established in 1801 in Cossipore, Kolkata, West Bengal (currently, the Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore), and production there began on March 18, 1802.

Some Main Events in the Evolution of IOF:

i. In 1906, the Administration of Indian Ordnance Factories came under a separate charge as ‘IG of Ordnance Factories’.

ii. IOF was placed under the direct control of the Ministry of Defence in 1948 and in 1979, the Ordnance Board came into existence.

iii. In 2021, the Ordnance Factory Board dissolved and converted to 7 Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).

Key Highlights:

i. Currently, the network of Indian Ordnance Factories comprises 41 factories, 9 Training Institutes, 3 Regional Marketing Centres and 4 Regional Controllers of Safety.

  • The 41 Factories are divided into 5 operational divisions of the OFB.

ii. The OFB is a defence production company that produces a variety of products in the area of land, sea, and air systems.

  • OFB is considered the 4th arm of Defence, along with the Army, Air Force, and Navy.

Note: A division of the government known as Ordnance Factories is responsible for the development, testing, production, logistics, and marketing of military weaponry.

About Ministry of Defence(MoD):

Union Minister- Raj Nath Singh (Constituency- Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS)- Ajay Bhatt (Constituency- Nainital-Udhamsingh Nagar, Uttarakhand)

About Ordnance Factories Board (OFB):

Director General Ordnance- Sanjeev Kishore
Headquarters- Kolkata, West Bengal
Establishment- 1979