Converting OFB into a corporate entity

The cabinet committee on security has approved the corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) into government corporate entity of which the registration is under the Companies Act 2013. Thus, the accountability, autonomy, and efficiency in Ordinance Supplies of OFB will be improved by corporatisation. Under the chairmanship of Minister of Defence, empowered group of ministers are constituted to guide the corporatisation. It is their responsibility to manage employees well, and safeguarding their retirement benefits and wages. The products would be supplied to the armed forces on the cost without profit.

However, the plan has come up with the strike by workers of OFB against the proposal.

Policy initiatives and encouragement for the production of defence equipment

The government has taken some policy initiatives for the promotion of ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector. It includes-

  1. Buy (Indian-IDDM ( Indigenously designed, developed, and manufactured))
  2. Simplification of ‘make’ procedure of capital procurement along with specific reservations for MSMEs. 90% of funding is by the government under Make1 category. Among 49 projects relating to the defence sector, 9 have been issued project sanction order.
  3. The embargo on the import of 101 items by Ministry of defence
  4. Launching of innovations for Defence Excellence ( iDEX)
  5. ‘Policy for an indigenous nation of components used in defence platforms’ under the government’s notification
  6. The objective of the intergovernmental agreement is to enhance the operational availability of Russian origin equipment and the after-sales support
  7. Two defence industrial corridor
  8. Creation of offset portal and permission for changings in IOPS and permission to OEMs for sharing IOPs details.
  9. Creation of defence investor cell
  10. No need for an industrial licence of defence product list
  11. Launching of SRIJAN

Other schemes and programmes for the promotion and development of MSMEs.

Women officers in IAF

Strength of women officers is 1875 in which 10 women officers as fighter pilots and 18 as navigators are commissioned in Indian Army. After the permission of the Ministry of Defence, 10 women fighter pilots have been commissioned under the scheme of “induction of women SSC officers in the fighter stream of the flying branch”.

Participation of startups in defence sector

Under ‘Aatamnirbhar Mission’,  the protection of defence sector products is becoming localised. The initiatives like IDEX framework in which startups participate to get their problem statements identified have been started. Other openings of institutions and organisations in the country are 8 advanced technology centres, and 68 incubation centres set up by Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog. Also, there is planning by IDEX to engage with existing defence innovation hubs in order to create new hubs to assist innovators.

Proceedings with the selection board for the permanent commission to women officers in Indian Army

The number 5 Selection board for the screening of women officers for grant of the permanent commission has started its proceedings at Army HQ. A Senior General Officer is leading the board along with the woman brigadier. Women officers are also allowed to observe the process.