Lieutenant General Dilip Desai, director-general, information systems of the Indian Army and a native of Uchgoan near here, has been awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal in January by the President for his distinguished services.
A recipient of the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2000 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2005 he is the second generation officer in his family. His father, Lieutenant Colonel N U Desai, served in the Army from 1942 to 1972.
Lt Gen Desai completed his schooling from St Xavier's School, Kolhapur, and King George's School, Belgaum, prior to joining the National Defence Academy in 1963. He was commissioned into the 18th Cavalry of the Armoured Corps after graduating from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, in December 1968.
The officer is an alumnus of the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, Higher Command Course at the Army War College,Mhow, and National Defence College, New Delhi.
Lt Gen Desai has wide military experience encompassing command, staff and instructional assignments in over 38 years of service. During Operation Parakram (2001-2002) he commanded the battle-hardened 1st Armoured Division as part of an offensive strike corps.
He has to his credit a number of important staff assignments, mainly dealing with military operations. These include three tenures at the Military Operations Directorate, Army Headquarters where his last assignment was additional director general, military operations.
As General-Officer-Commanding, 1 Armoured Division, he was responsible for bringing his division to the highest pitch of battle readiness during the warlike situation prevailing during Operation Parakram. As additional director general military operations he was directly responsible for initiating measures and framing policies relating to enhancement of the Indian Army's combat facilities and operational readiness.
As director general, information systems, he guides and directs the efforts of the Indian Army aimed at widespread automation through the effective use of information technology and in preparing it for the emerging face of future battles which will be network-centric.
In his present assignment he has been instrumental in taking new policy initiatives in the sphere of information technology proliferation in the Indian Army covering integrated systems and training.