The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Tuesday constituted an advisory committee to monitor the progress of the implementation of the new Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) being rolled out by Delhi University (DU).

The advisory committee, chaired by S.K. Joshi, UGC Member, and former Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), will also offer advice on the issue of curriculum. The five-member committee was set up following a meeting chaired by Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister M.M. Pallam Raju where the issue was discussed. The advisory committee was set up on the eve of the programme’s commencement.

The other members of the committee are UGC member and Director of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology V.S. Chauhan; Chairman of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research Mrinal Miri; Director of Tata Institute of Social Science S. Parsuraman; and former Director of Indian Institute of Advanced Studies Bhuvan Chandel.

The four-year programme is facing stiff opposition from a section of academia and political parties. Protests were organised by different bodies even as some teachers in DU and MPs made representations to the Prime Minister and the President demanding its roll back.

In a notification issued here by UGC chairperson Professor Ved Prakash, the UGC said the advisory committee would “aid and advice it on the initiatives of Delhi University in all aspects of implementation of the programme.”

Citing the UGC Act, it said, “The UGC can recommend to any university the measures necessary for the improvement of university education and advise the university upon the action to be taken for the purpose of implementing such recommendations.”

The notification said that since the undergraduate programme entailed a significant departure from the existing three-year degree programme, “this needs to be monitored closely in the initial stages as well as later semester for its successful implementation.”

The committee would also need to assess the implications of the undergraduate programme for the postgraduate degree courses in DU as well as other universities. The advisory committee may give reports to the UGC from time to time.

Along with tracking the progress of implementation, the committee would deliberate on any other issues relevant to the proposed programme and make suitable recommendations.

G.N. Saibaba of the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education (SC/ST/OBC/Left) has said the move was an endorsement of the “disastrous and meaningless” course, adding that they would impress upon the committee to stop its implementation.