Ordnance Factories Day – March 18th

Ordnance Factories Day – March 18th

Ordnance Factories Day (आयुध कारखाना दिवस) is celebrated across India every year on 18th March. It was on 18 March 1802 the production of India’s oldest Ordnance Factory in Cossipore, Kolkata started. The day is celebrated with great enthusiasm in parts of Ordnance Factory like, Field Gun Factory, Small Arms Factory, Ordnance Parachute Factory, and Ordnance Equipment Factory. The employees of all categories participate in various organized events for this day. This day commemorates the display of guns, ammunition, rifles, artillery, etc. in exhibitions across India, which is open to all. The ceremony begins with a parade.

Ordnance factories spread across the country make different types of weapons and war accessories. Due to the ordnance factories, India is becoming stronger by day by day promoting Made in India in the defense sector. In view of their contribution to the defense and development of the country, the day of March 18 is made by the Government of India as Ordnance Factory Day.

Like every year, Ordnance Factory Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm across the country. Various exhibitions and other programs are organized on this special day in various ordnance factories branches across the country. These exhibits showcased all the military equipment such as bow guns, insas rifles, vehicles made by ordnance factories, grenades, and ammunition.

History of Ordnance Factory Day

The Ordnance Factory Board is popularly called the country’s “fourth weapon of defense“. The remaining three are weapons – Navy, Air Force, and Army. Each of them has its own celebration day. As the Ordnance Factory is the fourth weapon of defense, the government felt the need to observe a special day as Ordnance Factory Day. The day was first announced on the 200th anniversary of the Ordnance Factory, that is, the Gun Carriage Agency known as the Gun and Shell Factory established in the country in the year 1801 at Cossipore, Kolkata.

The history of Indian Ordnance Factories is directly linked with British rule in India. The first Indian ordnance factory can trace its origins back to the year 1712 when the Dutch Ostend Company established a Gun Powder Factory in Ichhapur. The East India Company considered military hardware to be an important element in India to increase its political strength and protect its economic interests.

In the year of 1775, the East India Company praised the foundation of the Ordnance Board at Fort William, Calcutta. This board existed till 1855, after which it was transferred to the Secretary of State for War. In 1896, on reorganization, the Ordnance State department and Corps was organized into the Army Ordnance Department and Corps for officers and men. In 1918, the prefix Royal was adopted for meritorious service during the First World War. In 1922 the prefix Indian was added and the Corps was named “Indian Army Ordnance Corps”. In 1950 the prefix Indian was dropped and the Corps was named Army Ordnance Corps, which is the name today.

It represents the official commencement of the Indian Army Ordnance. The objective of the Ordnance Factories is to generate self-sufficiency in the field of defense production and to create awareness about ammunition and weapons among the general public.

Ordnance factory board

The Ordnance Factory Board laid its foundation in the year 1775 with its headquarters at the Ordnance Building in Kolkata. It is the oldest industrial organization run by the Government of India and the largest production organization in the world run by the government. It is one of the top 50 manufacturers of defense equipment in the world. The board is engaged in the testing, production, research, development, logistics, and marketing of a broad range of products in the field of land, sea, and air systems.

The Board of Ordnance Factories consists of 41 Ordnance Factories, 4 Regional Safety Controllers, 3 Regional Marketing Centers, and 9 Training Institutes spread across India. It is considered as “the force of armed force” and “the fourth weapon of defense”. The board is managed by the Ministry of Defense. Indian Ordnance Factories deliver their products to all the three Armed Forces of India, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Army, and the Indian Navy. Weapons, parachutes, chemicals and explosives, weapons and ammunition, clothing, and leather goods are exported to about 30 countries of the world.

List of Ordnance Factories in India

  • Cordite Factory, Aruvankadu
  • Ammunition Factory Khadki, Pune
  • Ordnance Factory, Kanpur
  • Field Gun Factory, Kanpur
  • Ordnance Factory Dum Dum, Kolkata
  • Engine Factory Avadi, Chennai
  • Ordnance Factory, Bolangir
  • Ordnance Factory, Bhusawal
  • Ordnance Factory, Chanderpur
  • Ordnance Factory Ambernath, Mumbai
  • Ordnance Factory, Dehradun
  • Ordnance Factory, Bhandara
  • Ordnance Factory Dehu Road, Pune
  • Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur
  • Ordnance Factory, Itarsi
  • Gun and Shell Factory, Kolkata
  • Ordnance Factory Katni
  • Gray Iron Foundry, Jabalpur
  • Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Jabalpur
  • High Explosives Factory, Pune
  • Ordnance Factory, Medak
  • Metal and Steel Factory, Kolkata
  • Ordnance Factory Project, Korwa
  • Heavy Vehicle Factory, Chennai
  • Ordnance Factory Project, Nalanda
  • Ordnance Equipment Factory, Hazratpur
  • Ordnance Factory, Muradnagar
  • Machine Tools Prototype Factory, Mumbai
  • Ordnance Factory, Tiruchirappalli
  • Ordnance Cable Factory, Chandigarh
  • Opto Electronics Factory, Dehradun
  • Heavy Alloy Penetrator Project, Tiruchirappalli
  • Ordnance Factory, Varangaon
  • Ordnance Clothing Factory, Avadi, Chennai
  • Ordnance Parachute Factory, Kanpur
  • Ordnance Equipment Factory, Kanpur
  • Small Arms Factory, Kanpur
  • Ordnance Factory Ambazhari, Nagpur
  • Rifle Factory Ishapore, Kolkata
  • Ordnance Clothing Factory, Shahjahanpur
  • Vehicle Factory Jabalpur

List of Ordnance Training Institutes

  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning, Ambaghari Nagpur
  • National Academy of Defense Production Nagpur
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Avadi, Chennai
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Khamaria, Jabalpur
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Medak
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Ambernath, Mumbai
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Dehradun
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Kanpur
  • Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Ishapore, Kolkata

List of Ordnance Regional Marketing Center

  • Regional Marketing Center, Delhi
  • Regional Marketing Center Avadi, Chennai
  • Regional Marketing Center, Pune

List of Ordnance Regional Controller of Safety

  • Regional Controller of Safety, Kanpur
  • Regional Controller of Safety Avadi, Chennai
  • Regional Controller of Safety, Pune
  • Regional Controller of Safety Ambajhari, Nagpur

Celebrations on Ordnance Factory Day

The occasion of Ordnance Factory Day is celebrated as a remembrance for the Armed Forces of India to confirm the dedication of the Ordnance Board through ensuring high-quality products and better quality of life for the employees. On this occasion, employees of Ordnance Factories are remembered for their work excellence. In proportion to other national awards, the board has introduced awards like Ayudha Shri / Devi, Ayudha Bhushan, Ayudha Ratna.

This day is celebrated with great enthusiasm in all Ordnance Factories of the country. The festival is started by the general manager in each factory with a flag hoisting and all employees and officers of the Ordnance Factory take the pledge to serve their country. Officers honor the employees of their respective factories for dedicating their services to the betterment of their factories as per the targets set by their corporations.

All the Ordnance Factories of the country celebrate this day by organizing programs like conferences and seminars on productivity, quality, and other topics. This day promotes a sense of unity and brotherhood among the employees. They feel hearty that they are members of a large family. Ordnance factories which are located in different remote areas of the country also organize welfare activities. They provide schooling, health care, and housing to their employees. The Women’s Welfare Association has contributed immensely to the growth of the environment in the families of the factories and employees of the Ordnance Factories.

It is also necessary to share the future modernization plans of various factories so that the employee can work shoulder to shoulder to fulfill the prescribed missions. Ordnance factory products are displayed including a variety of pistols, laser machine guns, guns, and other weapons including multimedia presentations that are open to all employees. These exhibitions are usually attended by employees, workers, officials of the respective factories, and representatives of several unions, unions, and federations.

Suggested Read: Important Days In March

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.