And it's severe.
Of the 320000 seats in Andhra Pradesh, says an education consultant based in Hyderabad, more than 120000 will go vacant this year.
In Maharashtra, 30000 of the 110000 seats on offer went vacant last year; this year, the number is expected to climb to 40000.
Some colleges have appointed touts to get students.
We contacted two such agents, one in Ghaziabad and one in Mumbai, to secure admission in some reputed engineering colleges in Delhi and Pune.
The admission was guaranteed, albeit at the cost of a few lakh rupees.
Some engineering schools are ready to shut down and cut their losses, and quite a few are up for sale.
Though AICTE reduced the minimum marks required in Class XII, to be eligible for admission in an engineering college, from 50 per cent to 45 per cent in 2010-11, it hasn't helped - there are no takers for a large number of seats.
Moved obviously by the plight of these colleges, the Maharashtra government wrote to AICTE earlier this year not to approve any new college in the state.
Still, AICTE has given its nod to 11 new engineering colleges!
Image: Wikimedia Commons