The Indian Ordnance Factories Service, known as IOFS in abbreviated form, is a gazette Group A service that comes under the category of defence-civilian services.
These officers work under the guidance and control of the Ministry of Defence. The Ordnance factory board has it working headquarters at Kolkata. Apart from this, there are 41 other ordnance factory units at various corners of India. The Indian ordnance factories are India’s oldest industrial supplies establishment for defence. It has a huge track record of producing defence supplies from nearly 200 years in this country.
They operate under the guidelines of defence production units of the Ministry of Defence. The term defence here means the combined forces of land, water, and air.
Along with taking care of defence supplies, the ordnance factories also work into the logistics part, buying raw materials, product design, implementation, testing, servicing, marketing, and Research and development units. UPSC makes the selection for ordnance factories in two ways.
Recruitment is done separately for technical and non-technical streams. For technical streams, the UPSC conducts the IES or Indian Engineering services examination. For the non-technical posts of IOFS, the UPSC conducts the civil services examination (CSE).
There are other lateral entry schemes through which candidates can get selected for IOFS via combined medical services examination, direct interviews, and promotions for serving officers.
Here in this article, we focus on the recruitment of non-technical cadres through CSE. The eligibility conditions, exam pattern, and syllabus remain common as that for the UPSC civil service examination.
Aspirants have to clear the preliminary exam, followed by the mains and finally the interview. If a candidate gets shortlisted after the interview, he may be selected for IOFS based on his preferences and other criteria specified by UPSC authorities. In this article, we discuss the various parameters of being an IOFS officer, their training schedules, career progression, various roles and responsibilities, and also their pay scales.
Training offered to selected IOFS Candidates
All candidates selected for IOFS have to undergo the compulsory four-month foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastry National academy of administration. This is the common training, along with other civil service selected probationers. After the foundation course, the specialized training process is further explained below:
- Candidates are first inducted into the National academy of defence Production (NADP) for further training processes. Here, they are trained on a variety of subjects such as technology in defence, supply management, public administration policies, etc.
- Soon after the induction course at NADP, probationers are sent to the next level of higher training for almost 64 weeks. This is an intensive program that includes various subject areas in theoretical, practical, and field experience modules. They are taught management, technical learning, and administrative learning. This part of the training happens at various centers across India, where subjects are taught with precision and a high level of specialization.
- After the intensive 64 week learning, probationers enter the next level of training. In this period, they are taken on an educational trip named Bharat Darshan, which familiarizes the most important defence establishments of our country to the candidate. Candidates are taken to all the primary nuclear plants, defence research organizations, space hubs, super industrial units, and many more technical parks of India.
- After this educational tour, next comes imparting knowledge of governance, bureaucracy, and legitimate actions. So they are taken to the power seats of India’s governance, the most important of them being the Parliament of India, where they are given insights on local governance at district and state level plus national and international bureaucracy sessions.
- After the educational field trips, candidates are provided with on-the-job training and hands-on experience with their work profiles. Probationers are posted to various ordnance factories across the country to serve them with the knowledge and training gained so far in terms of practical application series.
- This officially marks the end of the long training series, and it thereby concludes with a high level examination.
- At the pinnacle of their training series, probationers also get to hold panel discussions and live interactions and face to face conversations with a lot of dignitaries from the government like members of parliament, honorable prime minister, the president and the vice president and also ministers who are looking after the various sectionals and departments of defence and other ministries.
- IOFS officers serve in Embassies as Third secretary/ second secretary/ first secretary. They can also serve as counselor/ deputy high commissioner/ permanent representative.
- At the ministry of external affairs, they get various postings such as foreign secretary of India/ secretary/ joint secretary/director, etc.
Roles and Responsibilities of Indian Ordnance Factories Service Officers
IOFS officers hold superlative and elaborate roles and responsibilities when it comes to their service in the defence forces. They have to master the skills of technical knowledge, management practices, and administrative principles. Some of the prominent responsibilities of IOFS officers are:
- Engaging themselves in designing new products, conducting research, and developing structures for the product design.
- Project management involving the initiation of the project, implementation of policies, and enforcing technical and legal hallmarks for the same.
- Securing materials and managing their inflow/outflow, procurement, planning production of defence products, and ensuring quality control.
- Ensuring safety and precautionary measures at units where defence products are produced, labor welfare measures, maintenance activities, etc.
Indian Ordnance Factories Service Ranks and Salaries
Based on service tenures, ranks, and appraisals, IOFS officers are allocated different grades to discharge their duties for the government. Below we tabulate their roles and ranks and their corresponding pay scales.
|Rank||Designation allotted in area of posting||Service Designation assigned in Headquarters||Pay Scale/ Band Range in INR|
|Junior Time Scale officer||Serves as Assistant Works Manager||Serves as Assistant Director||15,600-39,100 + grade pay of 5400|
|Senior Time Scale officer||Serves as Works Manager||Serves as Deputy Director||15,600-39,100 + grade pay of 6600|
|Senior Time Scale officer (Non Functional role)||Serves as Deputy General Manager||Serves as Joint Director||15,600-39,100 + grade pay of 7600|
|Junior Administrative Grade officer (Functional role)||Serves as Joint General Manager||Serves as Director||37,400-67,000 plus+ grade pay of 8700|
|Senior Administrative Grade officer||Can serve in multiple roles as Additional General Manager / General Manager / Principal Director / Regional Director / Regional Controller of Safety||Serves as Deputy Director General||37,400-67,000 + grade pay of 10000|
|Higher Administrative Grade officer||Serves as Senior General Manager / Senior Principal Director||Serves as Senior Deputy Director General||67,000-79,000. No grade pays for this role.|
|Higher Administrative Grade officer (+)||Not applicable||Serves as Additional Director General & Member of the Board||75,500-80,000. No grade pays for this role.|
|Officer deputed in the Apex Scale||Not applicable||Serves as Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF) & Chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board||80,000 (fixed pay only.)|
- IOFS officers serve in managerial roles at various departments of production, procurement, and administration facilities.
- IOFS officers have the standing advantage that they can be posted and also have the option of transferring their role to any public sector unit/ organization or department. This comes with a lot of formalities and provided based on serving ranks, educational parameters, age criteria, etc.
- Some of the higher roles demand their performance as advisors to ministries. They also serve in distinguished posts such as secretaries and serve in top-notch authorities in defence PSUs.