About the service
•The Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) is a Group A organised civil service of the Government of India.
•They are Gazetted defence-civilian officers under the Ministry of Defence.
•They are responsible for the management of the Indian Ordnance Factories, which provide the defence production capabilities of India.
•IOFS is a multi-disciplinary composite cadre consisting of technical - engineers (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics), technologists (Chemical, Metallurgical, Textile, Leather) and non-technical/administrative (Science, Law, Commerce, Management and Arts graduates).
•Technical posts comprise about 87% of the total cadre. The doctors (Surgeons and Physicians) serving in OFB belong to a separate service known as the Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service (IOFHS).
•During the colonial times, the administrative service of Ordnance was known as the Indian Ordnance Service. It was constituted in the year 1935.
•It had only European officers in the years that followed. They were engineering graduates or military officers who had to undergo specialised training prior joining the service.
•IOFS was reconstituted in its present form in 1954 with the cadre controlling authority of Ministry of Defence – Department of Defence Production.
•The source of recruitment was through direct recruitment 60%; by promotion 40% and no lateral entries.
•The recruitment in the Indian Ordnance Factories as a Group A officer is done by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) based on the performance in the Engineering Services Examination (ESE) and the Civil Services Examination (CSE).
•Posts in the non-technical streams are filled through the Civil Services Examination.
•IOFHS officers are selected through the Combined Medical Services Examination, conducted by UPSC.
Ordnance Factories Board
•Ordnance Factories Board is engaged in research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land and sea systems.
•It comprises forty-one Ordnance Factories, nine Training Institutes, three Regional Marketing Centres and four Regional Controllerates of Safety, which are spread all across the country.
•OFB is the world's largest government operated production organisation and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India.
•It has a total workforce of about 164,000 and often called the "Fourth Arm of Defence“.
•The officers join the Foundation Course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration or other Academy approved by Government
•Thereafter, National Academy of Defence Production (NADP), Nagpur provides training to the IOFS officers in areas of technology, management, public administration as induction and re-orientation courses. The induction training programme of probationary officers is of 64 weeks, comprising technical, managerial and administrative modules of theoretical, practical and field nature.
•Examinations are held at the end of the training. The training concludes with interactions with the Members of Parliament, Ministers in-charge of the Home, Foreign and Defence ministries, Prime Minister, Vice-President and the President of India.
•The main functions performed by IOFS officers while at the Indian Ordnance Factories include product research & development, project management, materials management, production planning and control, quality control, supplies management, industrial safety, labour welfare, personnel management, industrial relations, management and maintenance of residential estates etc.
•In discharging these functions, the IOFS officers interact extensively with R&D organisations such as ARAI, BARC, BPRD, CSIR, ISRO, DRDO and other PSU organisations.
•They also interact with the officers of the Indian Armed Forces, Central Armed Police Forces, State Armed Police Forces, Paramilitary Forces of India, Special Forces of India; and other bureaucrats.
•IOFS officers serve at key managerial posts of PSUs and SEZs; as advisors and secretaries to the Union Cabinet Ministers, Prime Minister and the President of India;
•They also serve as diplomats at various consulates, missions and embassies of India, located abroad; as Commissioned Officers in the Indian Armed Forces; and as Scientists in DRDO.
Ranks of IOFS officers
Special Features of IOFS
•Their Headquarter (Ordinance Factory Board) is located at Kolkata
•The officers are usually attached to the Ordnance Factories and they look after the HR issues of the factories
•They get stability of tenure during their service and get quite few transfer
•Their promotional prospect is comparatively slow.
•They get excellent accommodation is defense establishments and they are also entitled to the Central Government accommodations
•They get all perks and facilities as compared to the officers of other Central Service officers.