Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) - Managing Factories Producing Defence Equipment

The Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) is one of the Group ‘A’ services successful candidates can get into once they clear the UPSC civil services exam. It is a unique service in that it is the only cadre in which officers are recruited by all four methods – civil services exam, engineering services exam, interviews and promotions. This article helps one to comprehensively understand the Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS).

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while planning their career path once they clear the IAS Exam.

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Officers of this service engage in the management of the Indian Ordnance Factories. These factories engage in the production of defence equipment and arms/ammunition. In this service, there are two types of positions. One of them is the technical position and the other one is the non-technical position. The recruitment for the non-technical position is through Civil Service Examination whereas for the technical positions the recruitment is through the Engineering Service Examination. The article shares information on IOFS functions, grades, pay scales, career prospects.

Indian Ordnance Factories Services (IOFS) – Brief History

The history of the Indian ordnance factories dates back to the British Raj. The British East India Company required military hardware for establishing and maintaining their economic supremacy in India and for this, in 1775, the British authorities established the Board of Ordnance at Fort William, Calcutta. The first factory came up at Ishapore in 1787 and it produced gunpowder. The Indian Ordnance Service was established in 1935 and it had only European officers then. This was reconstituted as the Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) in the year 1954 with the Defence Department as its cadre controlling authority.

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Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) – Training of Probationary Officers

After the initial Foundation Course at LBSNAA, the officer trainees are provided training in the areas of management, public administration and technology at the National Academy of Defence Production (NADP), Nagpur. This Induction Training Programme is for 64 weeks. After this, they are sent on a Bharat Darshan wherein they visit defence, space, nuclear, industrial and other technical installations. Then, the officers are imparted on-the-job training at the Ordnance Factories.

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) – Functions

  1. The chief functions of IOFS officers at the ordnance factories include product research and development, production planning and control, quality control, project management, supply management, materials management, labour welfare, personnel management, industrial relations, management, industrial safety maintenance of residential estates, etc.
  2. These officers also serve in managerial positions in various PSUs and SEZs.
  3. They also serve as secretaries and advisors to Union Cabinet ministers, Prime Minister and the President of India.
  4. They can also become scientists for the DRDO.
  5. IOFS officers can also be asked to serve the armed forces as Commissioned Officers for a period of four years.

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) – Grades and Pay Scales

Before deciding on joining a Group ‘A’ service, all candidates would be interested to know the prospects of promotion and the pay scales associated with the cadre.

The below table gives information on the grades and respective pay scales of IOFS

Grade Designation Pay Scale
In the field In HQ
Junior Time Scale Assistant Works Manager Assistant Director 15600 – 39100 + Grade Pay 5400
Senior Time Scale Works Manager Deputy Director 15600 – 39100 + Grade Pay 6600
Senior Time Scale (Non-Functional) Deputy General Manager Joint Director 15600 – 39100 + Grade Pay 7600
Junior Administrative Grade (Functional) Joint General Manager Director 37400 – 67000 + Grade Pay 8700
Senior Administrative Grade Additional General Manager / Principal Director / Regional Director / General Manager / Regional Controller of Safety Deputy Director-General 37400 – 67000 + Grade Pay 10000
Higher Administrative Grade Senior General Manager / Senior Principal Director Senior Deputy Director-General 67000 – 79000
Higher Administrative Grade + Additional Director General and Member of the Board 75500 – 80000
Apex Director General Ordnance Factories (DGOF) and Chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board 80000 (fixed)

To know more about other Civil Services, visit the link UPSC Posts.

Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) – Career Prospects

  1. IOFS cadre officers serve in diverse departments from the production department to the administration department.
  2. Option for transfer to any public sector organisation or department.
  3. At higher roles, they also serve as advisors to ministers.
  4. IOFS Cadre officers also get the opportunity of serving in Indian Embassies.
  5. IOFS cadre officers also get opportunities for posting in the Ministry of External Affairs.

Ordnance Factories

There are 41 Ordnance Factories distributed all over the country at 24 different locations.

The below table gives the list of number of Ordnance factories in different states

State/UT Number of factories
Maharashtra 10
Uttar Pradesh 9
Madhya Pradesh 6
Tamil Nadu 6
West Bengal 4
Uttaranchal 2
Telangana 1
Orissa 1
Bihar 1
Chandigarh 1

The above details would help candidates preparing for UPSC 2022 in setting up their goals.

Frequently Asked Questions about Indian Ordnance Factories


How many ordnance factories are there in India?

Indian Ordnance Factories, headquartered at Kolkata, is a conglomerate of 41 Factories, 9 Training Institutes, 3 Regional Marketing Centres and 4 Regional Controller of Safety.

What are some of the unique facts about the Ordinance Factory Board?

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. It is often called the “Fourth Arm of Defence”, and the “Force Behind the Armed Forces” of India. It is amongst the top 50 defence equipment manufacturers in the world.

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