More than 30 startups have been blacklisted from taking part in placement programs at India’s top universities.

The management of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the country’s elite group of world-class institutions, decided to take action after several students issued complaints that job offers from such startups had been unduly delayed or withdrawn.

Startups such as Portea Medical, Hopscotch, and Grofers were among those banned from recruiting students.

According to Mashable, a spokesperson from the All-IIT placement committee said that around 150 students had been inconvenienced by the startups’ flakiness.

“They’re playing with our students’ lives. If you tell someone, ‘turn up to our office in Bangalore on this date,’ and then, on the day that person turns up, you say, ‘come back in six months,’ that’s not okay,” the spokesperson said.

“And this is the cream of the nation. If they’re behaving like this with IIT students, how will they behave with others?”

Sharing his experience, one of the affected students told Mashable that not only had his offer been delayed by months, but was withdrawn altogether after the window for getting placements had passed.

He said he was “very angry” after being told in August to start looking for another job, as it was “very difficult” to secure another placement after May.

He added that the startup did not even appear to care about the burden they had placed upon him, saying: “They were pretty casual about it, they didn’t even show any responsibility. Looking for a new job is a lot of mental stress. They didn’t pay compensation.”

The IITs spokesperson said that the ban was put in place to prevent such problems from happening to more students.

However, those in the tech industry say that the issue stems from a slowdown in the nation’s sputtering startup market.

Tech analyst Vikas Kothari told the website that India was unable to replicate China’s economic boom due to the fact that its GDP per capita was much lower.

He added that the ban would not have a significant impact on the startups, as they would likely regroup and redraw their plan.

“Saying that, they could have definitely handled the situation better,” he admitted.

A placement cell member from IIT-Bombay told Times of India: “We may come out with a list of companies which will be blacklisted for more than a year or even permanently. But we are not entirely sure at this stage.”

The paper noted that some of the blacklisted startups were started by IIT alumni, and that one of the firms on the blacklist turned out to be “a fake one with no proper address”.

It was also found that at least three of the companies on the list had already shut down for good, while several others were facing financial difficulties.

Image via Unsplash

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