Ordnance Factory Day 2023: History, Importance and Significance

Ordnance Factory Day is celebrated every year on March 18 in India to commemorate the establishment of the first Ordnance Factory in India at Cossipore near Kolkata in 1801. This day is celebrated to honour the contribution of the Indian Ordnance Factories (IOFs) in strengthening India’s defence capabilities.
The IOFs are a group of 41 manufacturing units located across the country, which are responsible for the production of arms, ammunition, and other equipment for the Indian Armed Forces. These factories play an important role in ensuring the security of the country by providing high-quality weapons and equipment to the armed forces of India.
On this day, various programs and events are organised by the IOFs to showcase their achievements, advancements in technology, and capabilities. The day is also used to honour the employees of the IOFs who have dedicated their lives to serving the country by manufacturing high-quality weapons and equipment.
Ordnance Factory Day 2023: History
The history of Ordnance Factories in India dates back to British colonial rule in India. The British East India Company realised the growing demand for weapons and ammunition for the British army in India. In 1775, British authorities accepted the formation of the Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata. This marks the official commencement of the Army Ordnance in India.
In 1787, a gunpowder factory was formed at Ishapore which began production in 1791. In 1801, a Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata was formed and production began on March 18, 1802. The same is now known as Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore.
After India gained independence in 1947, the Ordnance Factories were placed under the control of the Indian government. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was established in 1979 as a government-owned corporation to manage the ordnance factories.
Ordnance Factory Day 2023: Importance
Overall, Ordnance Factory Day 2023 serves as a reminder of the pivotal role played by the IOFs in the defence of the country and is an opportunity to express gratitude towards those who have dedicated their lives to serving the nation. To honour the services of the OFBs, Ordnance Factory Day begins with hoisting the national flag and singing the National Anthem.
Ordnance Factory Day 2023: Significance
The Ordnance Factories organisation consists of 41 factories that are divided into five operational divisions by the OFB. They also make up a defence production conglomerate that offers a wide range of goods for land, sea, and air systems. Along with the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy; OFB is considered the fourth Arm of Defence in the country’s defence system.

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