Mumbai For the third year in a row, courses in electronics and telecommunication engineering — also known as electronics and communications — faced the highest number of closures across the country.According to data from All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the apex body for technical education in the country, as many as 66 degree, 47 diploma and several postgraduate programmes in electronics and telecommunication will no longer be available to students at colleges across the country for 2019-20. In the last two years, 116 diploma and 144 degree courses related to this branch were shut down.According to experts, the telecom sector has lost its sheen after the 2G scam and the market consolidation following the advent of 4G. “The closure of telecommunication courses is reflective of overall environment in the sector. The students are unwilling to join telecom companies, due to the constant negative stories about the sector. There’s not much growth expected in the years to come,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, vice president, TeamLease Services, a human resources management firm.Braj Mishra, principal, Thakur College of Engineering in Kandivali, said that electronics and telecommunication is no longer a sought-after field for aspirants. “Many telecom graduates from the city would pursue careers abroad. However, with little demand for these courses, the colleges have to shut them down,” he said.Chakraborty, however, remains optimistic. “While there isn’t much movement happening in the frontline of the sector, dominated by several corporate giants, there’s still a lot of work available in the back-end, such as operations, technical management and networking at other companies. The sector may pick up if 5G is introduced,” she said.With their demand fast dwindling in the past few years, several engineering institutes and courses have shut down across the country. The AICTE approved the closure of 95 diploma and 83 degree colleges and as many as 4,240 diploma, undergraduate and PG courses for 2019-2020. The state received only around 94,000 applications for engineering admissions this year, the lowest in the past 12 years.