The Force India driver succeeded in stopping the rot at his team's home race, ending a sequence of seven races without a point which stretched back to the summer's British Grand Prix.
After lining up 12th on the grid, Di Resta kept out of trouble through the 60-lap race to come home one place ahead of team-mate Adrian Sutil to earn four welcome championship points.
With Di Resta's future with the team still in the balance, the result could ultimately prove crucial, and the Scot said: "It's great to score points here in India - the team's home grand prix is a really important race for us.
"We've steadily improved the car over the last few weeks and I'm feeling more comfortable, so I think we can be optimistic of performing at a similar level in Abu Dhabi next week."
Team principal Vijay Mallya also welcomed the result at his home race, with the points helping Force India edge a little further clear of Sauber in the race for sixth place in the constructors' championship.
"Like everybody in the team I am delighted to see both Force Indias score points in our home race," said Mallya.
"That's the goal we set ourselves ahead of the weekend and the six points scored are very important for strengthening our position in the constructors' championship."
Force India have suffered more than most from the changes made to Pirelli's tyres following the failures that struck at the British Grand Prix, and
Mallya added: "The second half of the season has been challenging for us, but we showed today that we never give up and that all the recent hard work has paid off."