Once considered the first choice of the country's creme da la creme students, engineering is suffering big time! Empty seats, ghost campuses and unemployed graduates, engineering has surely lost its sheen. As per AICTE data released this week, the course has witnessed the sharpest fall in five years at 14.9 lakh seats as the total engineering intake in the country. And what's more interesting is that young aspirants are finally acknowledging other academic opportunities. One such field that has emerged as a fruitful alternative is Pharmacy. As per a News 18 report, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has approved 290 pharmacy colleges certified to give diplomas to applicants along with 102 technical institutes aiding under-graduate and post-graduate degrees in medicine for the academic year 2018-19. However, AICTE approved only 36 engineering colleges that can provide degrees to students with just 66 diploma institutes being approved. As per reports, 151 engineering colleges have been approved for total closure by AICTE as compared to only 7 pharmacy institutes. Another major finding is that 130 engineering colleges have withdrawn approval due to no admissions in the academic year 2017-18, whereas the number is only 21 for pharmacy colleges. As per a report by IE, the total number of B.Tech and M.Tech seats this year, across all AICTE-approved institutes, has dropped by 1.67 lakh, which is almost double the dip witnessed in 2017-18. The undergraduate and postgraduate engineering intake was 16.62 lakh seats last year and 17.5 lakh seats in 2016-17. In April, a report had claimed that All India Council for Technical Education is all set to shut down nearly 200 \u2018substandard\u2019 engineering colleges over the period of next 12 months. With the closure of these colleges, the number of engineering seats will be brought down by 80,000 this year. In the last four years, the number of seats in engineering colleges has been reduced by 3.1 lakh. While this is not the only alarming figure, the actual enrolment in engineering colleges has come down by 1.86 lakh since 2012-13. There has been a decline in the number of engineering seats offered to students since 2016. AICTE states that annually, there is a fall of approximately 75,000 engineering seats.