New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) on Wednesday announced that they were revoking a ban on 31 companies, most of them start-ups, from participating in campus placements.

The move comes a year after the companies were placed on the list.

The ban was enforced after the start-ups withdrew offers they had made to students at the IITs, leaving them in the lurch. Among the companies on the list were healthcare services provider Portea Medical, food-tech company Zomato and online seller of baby-care products, Hopscotch.

“As per the decision taken during the 23rd AIPC (All-IIT placement committee) meeting at IIT Bombay... the ban on companies blacklisted ...on 14 Aug 2016 is hereby revoked with immediate effect," the IITs said in a joint statement.

Kaustubha Mohanty, coordinator of AIPC said there were three reasons the ban was revoked: one, some students want to work for some big start-ups in the list; two, the ban was for one year only, hence a decision was needed before the placement season began; and three, the new IITs could benefit from having more companies in the mix.

“We are not against start-ups per se. We took a stand last year to send a message to companies that hire our students and then withdraw offers," Mohanty, also a professor at IIT Guwahati said.

He explained that most IITs follow the one-student-one-job principle during the placement season which means that a student who receives an offer can’t appear for more interviews. If the offer is withdrawn later, he added, the student is in trouble.

“The placement committee of each IIT will have the option to now invite or accept the offer from all such firms. But we shall tell them the track record of such companies," Mohanty added.

“The IITs have a long history of being home to great engineering talent, and we’re grateful that the hiring ban has been withdrawn. We look forward to a long and fruitful association with the IITs," a Zomato spokesperson said. A spokesman of Protea said he will be commenting on IITs lifting ban “after discussing the matter internally".

Yuvraj Malik contributed to this story.

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