The CEOs of Google, Microsoft, IBM and Adobe are graduates of Indian engineering colleges. Pranay dreams of becoming one of them. Competing against one million applicants, he gains admission to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), but is soon disillusioned. Will Pranay make his presence felt on the world stage? Or will he burn out along the way?
In IIT parlance, a ‘Cat’ is one who aces everything – grades, sports, cultural activities… Competition is fierce and winner takes all. Losers are not cool.
The filmmaker, an IIT alumnus from 35 years ago, follows Pranay and his friends over the four year course – in their hostels in Delhi, and with families and childhood friends in their homes in small towns. What emerges is a portrait of Indian society and its educational institutions that push young people to the brink, in pursuit of material success.
The film asks if it is possible to reimagine technical education in India, so that students are driven by the spirit of innovation and creativity, rather than grades and career prospects. In a tech world dominated by engineers of Indian origin, shouldn’t we all be concerned about what happens in their formative years in college?