New Delhi: The 220-year-old Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), supplying arms, ammunition and clothing to armed forces in India, stands dissolved from October 1. The successor organisation of OFB, the Ordnance Directorate (Co-ordination and Services) has got its first Director-General. A recipient of the Ayudh Ratna Award ER Sheikh assumed charge as first Director-General of the Ordnance Directorate. Thursday, September 30 is the last day of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) in existence.
An Indian Ordnance Factory Service (IOFS) officer of the 1984 batch, he has been a spearhead of OFB modernization. In particular, he has contributed to the establishment of the modern production line system for the manufacture of small arms ammunition at the Ordnance Factory Varangaon. As Deputy Director General (DDG)-Propellants and Explosives, he oversaw several plant modernisation projects in explosive factories that led to enhancement in productivity, quality and safety. He also led the successful indigenous development of the Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS) for artillery ammunition.
Sheikh, a postgraduate of IIT Kanpur, has served in various Ordnance Factories. He was General Manager of the Ordnance Factory, Itarsi earlier. He has also served as a member of various Defence Delegations to foreign countries as a representative of the OFB and the Ministry of Defence. He is also the recipient of the Ayudh Ratna Award, 2020, conferred on him in recognition of his exemplary services to the organisation.
The new DG is an Electrical Engineer with BE from Government Engineering College Jabalpur. He has done M.Phil in public administration from the Indian institute of public administration in Delhi. Sheikh joined Indian Ordnance Factories through the UPSC Engineering services examination as Assistant Works Manager in the year 1985.
"During this journey since then, I have worked in the R&D, production/planning of Ammunition & Armament for almost 2 decades. I also worked as project officer for setting up small arms ammunition manufacturing plant from scratch to full-scale production stage", Sheikh wrote on a social media site. He had joined the OFB headquarter at Kolkata in 2018 and looked after Quality System in the organisation for two years. Also, he introduced an innovative online system to interact with the actual user level in the Army.
Sheikh is a recipient of the prestigious Ayudh Ratna 2020, the highest award of the erstwhile Ordnance Factory Board.