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Essential Defence Services Bill 2021

  Aug 14, 2021

Essential Defence Services Bill 2021

Q. Why is this in news?
A. The Bill was recently passed by the Lok Sabha.

Q. What are the Highlights of the Bill?
A.  

  1. It is meant to “provide for the maintenance of essential defence services. 
  2. The Bill defines Essential Defence Services: It includes any service in any establishment or undertaking dealing with production of goods or equipment required for defence related purposes or any establishment of the armed forces or connected with them or defence.
  3. The Bill also empowers the government to declare services mentioned in it as essential defence services. 
  4. It prohibits strike and lockouts in “any industrial establishment or unit engaged in essential defence services”. 
  5. The Bill amends the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 to include essential defence services under public utility services. 
  6. Besides, the bill has also defined strikes and punishments for violations. 

Q. Why was this bill necessary?

A. In June the government announced the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board. 

Q. Who will it affect?

A. It has a direct bearing on around 70,000 employees of the 41 ordnance factories around the country, who are unhappy with the corporatisation of OFB, fearing that it will impact their service and retirement conditions. 

Q. Why does OFB and its production matter?

A. The ordnance factories form an integrated base for indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment, with the primary objective of self-reliance in equipping the armed forces with state of the art battlefield equipment.