Ordnance Factory Day [18th March]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 2, 2022, 6:41

Every year on March 18, Ordnance Factory Day commemorates the founding of the first Ordnance Factory in colonial India in Cossipore, near Kolkata, in 1801.

The Indian Ordnance Factories, part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), observe the day as an opportunity to highlight the country's ordnance factorie's research, development, production, and marketing capabilities for a wide range of guns and ammunition.

Ordnance Factory Day History

In India, ordnance manufacturers stretch back to the colonial era. In 1775, the East India Company established a Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata, to expand their economic and political might in the country. This was the beginning of the army's ordnance in the country.

The British also established a gun powder plant in Ishapore in 1787, which began production in 1791. In Cossipore, Kolkata, the British established a Gun Carriage Agency in 1801, and production began on March 18, 1802. The first industrial Ordnance Factories in India were established at this time, and they are still functioning today.

The rise of these manufacturing plants proceeded, and by 1947, India had 18 ordnance factories. Following independence, 21 more factories were built.

Origin of Ordnance Factory Day

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which included the Indian Ordnance Factories and is now known as the Directorate of Ordnance (Coordination and Services), was a government of India organisation that was part of the Department of Defence Production (DDP) of the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The OFB oversees 41 factories that employ over 70,000 people. Its annual revenue is Rs 19,000 crore. All of this will be divided into seven government-owned Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs).

The government's intention to disband the OFB had been on the table for some time, having been mooted shortly after the 2019 Lok Sabha election. On June 16, 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the plan. The government declared on October 1 that the Ordnance Factory Board will be abolished.

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All existing factories and personnel were absorbed into these seven PSUs, according to reports. OFB was abolished on October 1, 2021, and all management, control, operations, and maintenance responsibilities were handed to seven newly constituted defence PSUs.

The Origin of Ordnance Factory Day came into existence to honour the Ordnance Factories of India and the service of the Ordnance Factory Board towards the country which, now remains disbanded.

Ordnance Factory Day - Celebration And Significance

The Ordnance Factory Day begins with the raising of the national flag and the singing of the National Anthem in recognition of the OFBs' valiant service.

Several events are planned for the day, which will be presented by plant personnel. Followed by the flag hoisting a presentation of firearms, ammunition, rifles, artillery, and other military equipment in displays around India takes place. The show is open to the public and is free. A procession takes place alongside the display of weaponry and ammunition.

Every government in today's world demands a consistent supply of weaponry and ammunition for its armed forces. The OFB was in charge of manufacturing a wide range of military equipment, including small guns, explosives and propellants, ammunition, and so on which is why Ordnance Factory Day was commemorated to recognise the OFBs' commitment to the defence sector of the country.

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FAQs on Ordnance Factory Day

Q.1. In the context of Ordnance Factory Day, what are Ordnance Factories?

In the context of Ordnance Factory Day, The types of materials created are extremely varied. Bombs, rockets, missiles, military vehicles, and optical devices are some of the products created in Ordnance Factories.

Q.2. What is the significance of Ordnance Factory Day?

Ordnance Factory Day which is celebrated every year on March 18 is celebrated to commemorate the research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics and efforts of the Ordnance Factories towards the defence sector.

Q.3. When was the Ordnance Factories Board formed, with regards to the Ordnance Factory Day?

With regards to the Ordnance Factory Day, The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was founded in 1801 with the first of its industrial units.

Q.4. What was the theme of Ordnance Factory Day 2022?

Vinashaya Dushkritam was the theme of Ordnance Factory Day 2022.

Q.5. When was the Ordnance Factory Board disbanded, with regard to the Ordnance Factory Day?

With regard to the Ordnance Factory Day, The Ordnance Factory Board was disbanded and converted into seven new defence PSUs after an announcement was made by the prime minister of India on, October 1, 2022.