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It was in 2000 when spectacular developments were taking place in the IT (Information Technology) and ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services) sectors. This surged demand for Indian techies all over the globe especially in countries like the USA, the UK, and Canada [Images]. As a result, more and more people started opting for courses leading to a career in the IT sector. The Master's degree in Computer Applications (MCA) was perceived as one of the major options for student eyeing this huge career opportunity. But with the sudden (though highly expected) down fall of the IT industry coupled with the recession, the demand for MCA lessened.
The scenario has, however, changed since then. Starting with the promising BPO (business process outsourcing) and KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) sectors, the industry has reached new heights with the introduction of PPO (People to people Outsourcing). IT industry is back on track and growing.
Stats say it all
Young Indian IT professionals in India earn more than 200 per cent the average salary any other profession earns. This, together with salaries rising about 20 per cent a year on average, they are most likely to see their salaries jump above any other professional in the country right now.
In the last few years, people have left their jobs in other engineering streams and joined the software bandwagon. Even then, India faces a huge scarcity of software professionals as per the recent NASSCOM survey. In fact, by 2010, the demand and supply gap is going to be as wide as half a million jobs. US Bureau of Labour statistics has predicted a 68 per cent increase in output growth rate of the IT industry between 2002 and 2012.
McKinsey conducted a study that revealed a substantial growth in IT businesses in India. It further predicted for 2008 that India's IT business revenue will cross US $85 billion. More than 2 million new jobs will be created out of this and Indian companies will observe their market capitalisation to reach a magical figure of US$ 225 billion. The proliferating impact of the future scenario can be inferred from the fact that one job in IT creates five more jobs in the businesses that rely on IT software and hardware.
Masters in computer applications (MCA)  The key
For entry into the IT industry, companies looked for graduates in engineering or post graduates in computer science. Graduates in other streams who wanted to hop on to the IT bandwagon but could not do engineering also had a chance to become software professionals by joining a 3year post graduate MCA (Master of Computer Applications) programme, after completing graduation in any discipline with Mathematics as a subject at Class XII level.
The MCA is a 3year fulltime degree course consisting of six semesters. It covers various aspects of computing, accounting, finance, programming, design and managing networks and databases.
Most MCA institutes require certain educational backgrounds like say Mathematics as a subject in class XI and XII and minimum of 50 per cent in graduation. Admissions are given on the basis of written entrance tests. The most reputed universities and colleges offering the highprofile placementcentred MCA degree in India are:
Other colleges offering MCA are NITs, Vellore Institute, PSG Coimbatore, Hyderabad Central University, BITS Mesra, Jalgaon University, and Panjab University etc.
Some institutes also provide post graduate diploma programmes in computer applications (1 or 2 years) which are considered equivalent to an MCA and offer good placement opportunities as well.
The eligibility conditions for admission to various MCA programmes across the nation vary a lot. Mostly, these are (1) Graduation in any discipline for the aspirants who had studied Mathematics as one of the major subjects in Senior Secondary School classes (XI & XII) (2) A first class graduation in Mathematics. However, JNU, New Delhi, having one of the most reputed MCA programme, does not require Mathematics even up to XII level.
Admission criteria
Admission to various MCA programmes is through entrance tests, which are conducted either separately by the universities or combined by the institutes of some states. Some renowned names viz. Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Pune University, Roorkee University, Panjab University, Thapar institute etc. conduct entrance tests for their own.
On the other hand, there are combined tests for admission to the certain institutions. You may find various online, original and sample MCA entrance tests on TCYonline.com.
The combined MCA entrance tests held in India are:
Test  For admission to 
NIMCET  All 9 NITs 
CET Maharashtra  All colleges in Maharashtra 
MPPre MCA Test  All colleges in MP 
UPMCAT  Most colleges in UP 
Andhra Pradesh CET  All colleges in AP 
Kerala [Images] MCA Test  All colleges in Kerala 
Orissa State MCA Test  All colleges in Orissa 
MET  All college under Punjabi Univ. GNDU, & PTU in Punjab 
Generally, the written test is on the pattern of Objective Type questions. Although, most of the colleges in India shortlist the candidates for admission through only the written test, for some, for instance  Delhi University, the shortlisted aspirants (on the basis of a written test) will have to appear in an interview before they are finally selected.
The tests are generally of 23 hours in duration. Marking scheme (negative marking and its amount) is subjective to the individual test pattern. The language in most tests is only English. The areas that are covered in the written test mainly include Mathematics (predominantly), Reasoning & Analytical decisionmaking, general awareness and basic knowledge of computers.
General syllabus
A. MATHEMATICS:
Algebra  Fundamental operations in Algebra, Expansion, factorization, simultaneous linear / quadratic equations, indices, logarithms, arithmetic, geometric and harmonic progressions, binomial theorem, permutations and combinations, surds, determinants, matrices and application to solution of simultaneous linear equations. 
Coordinate Geometry  Rectangular Cartesian coordinates, equations of a line, mid point ,intersections etc., equations of a circle, distance formulae, pair of straight lines, parabola, ellipse and hyperbola, simple geometric transformations such as translation, rotation, scaling. 
Calculus  Limit of functions, continuous functions, differentiation of functions(s),Tangents and normal, simple examples of maxima and minima, Integration of function by parts, by substitution and by partial fraction, definite integral application to volumes and surfaces of frustums of a sphere, cone, cylinder, Taylor Series. 
Differential Equations  Differential equations of first order and their solutions, linear differential equations with constant coefficients, homogenous linear differential equations. 
Vector  Position vector, additions and subtraction of vectors, scalar and vector products and their applications to simple geometrical problems and mechanics. 
Trigonometry  Simple identities, trigonometric equations, properties of triangles, solution of triangles, height and distance, inverse function. 
Probability and Stats  Basic concepts of probability theory, Averages, Dependent and independent events, frequency distributions, and measures of dispersions, skewness and kurtosis, random variable and distribution functions, mathematical expectations, Binomial, Poisson, normal distributions, curve fitting, and principle of least squares, correlation and regression. 
Linear Programming  Formulation of simple linear programming problems, basic concepts of graphical and simplex methods. 
B. COMPUTER AWARENESS:
Computer Basics  Organization of a computer, Central Processing Unit (CPU), Structure of instructions in CPU, input / output devices, computer memory, memory organization, backup devices. 
Data Representation  Representation of characters, integers, and fractions, binary and hexadecimal representations, Binary Arithmetic: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, single arithmetic and two complement arithmetic, floating point representation of numbers, normalized floating point representation, boolean algebra, truth tables, venn diagrams. 
Computer Architecture  Block structure of computers, communication between processor and I / O devices, interrupts. 
Computer Language  Assembly language and high level language, Multiprogramming and time sharing operating systems, Computer Programming in C. 
Flow chart and Algorithms 

Eligibility requirements
TCYonline.com has compiled a list of all the major universities and their eligibility criteria in the following table:
Universities/ Institutes in Punjab
S.No  University  Eligibility  Conditional Math Requirement  Tentative Month  Total Seats 
1.  Punjab Admission to MCA Common Aptitude Test (PAMCAT2007)  Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level Or have passed BCA course  June  1886 
2.  Punjabi University, Patiala  50% in Graduation  10+2 or higher degree exam with Maths/ Statistics/ Business Maths/ Business Statistics/ Quantitative Techniques or equivalent as compulsory/ optional/ additional subject or paper  June  446 
3.  Punjab University, Chandigarh  50 % inGraduation  Mathematics at 10+2 level or Graduation  June  30+2*+10 (NRI) 
4.  Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar [Images]  50% in Graduation  Mathematics/ Statistics/ Computer Application as one of the subjects at graduation level  June  90 
5.  Thapar Institute of Technology  50 % in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 or Graduation level  June  60 
Universities/ Institutes in NCR
S.No  University  Eligibility  Conditional Math Requirement  Tentative Month  Total Seats 
1.  IIC, South Campus, Delhi  50% in Graduation  Maths at Graduation level  January  40 
2.  Jamia Hamdard University  50% in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level  June  60 
3.  Jamia Milia Islamia  50% in Graduation  Maths at Graduation level  June  50 
4.  Jawaharlal Nehru University  55% in Graduation  Adequate Competence in Maths  May  30 
5.  Delhi University  60% in Graduation  1 paper in Maths and another in Computer Sc./ Statistics/ Operational Research/ Maths  June  30 
6.  Kurukshetra  55%60% in Graduation  Maths/Statistics as one Subject at 10+2/Graduation level  June  30+30 (NRI/sp) 
7.  Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University  50% in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level Graduation level  May  880 
8.  IIT, Roorkee  60% (55% SC/ST) in Graduation  Maths at Graduation level  March  30 
9.  IMT, Ghaziabad  Pass in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level  April  30 
Other Universities/Institutes
S.No  University  Eligibility  Conditional Math Requirement  Tentative Month  Total Seats 
1.  NIT (Under Nimcet)  60% in Graduation  Mathematics as one of the subjects both in graduation and at 10+2 level  May  480 
2.  Symbiosis Institute for CS & Research (SICSR)  50% in Graduation    December  90 
3.  Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune  45% in Graduation (40% for SC/ST)  Maths And/Or Statistics At 10+2 or Graduation level  Feb  60 
4.  Pune University, Pune  50% (Passing marks for reserved) in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level and graduation in Science or Engineering  March  30 
5.  Banaras Hindu University  50% in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level Or Graduation level  May  30 
6.  Vellore Engineering College  50% in Graduation  Mathematics / Statistics at the graduation level OR Mathematics at 10+2 level.  May  60 
7.  VJTI  55% in Graduation  Mathematics / Statistics at the graduation level OR Mathematics at 10+2 level.  January  60 
8.  B.I.T.S. Ranchi  60% in Graduation & 50% for SC/ST  Maths at 10+2 / Intermediate level & graduation level, or BCA  May  340 
9.  Banasthali Vidyapith  60% in Graduation (Pass / Honours)  Maths at 10+2 level Or Graduation level  June  30 
10.
 Hyderabad Central, University  60% in Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level  June  45 
11.  CDAC, Mumbai (Thru CST)  A Degree in any subject or engg. diploma as recognize by a state or central govt.  Maths at 10+2 And/Or Graduation level  January  150 
12.  Guru Jambheshwar University, Hisar  Graduation  Maths at 10+2 level Or Maths/ Statistics at Graduation level as compulsory subject  June  40 
Top Careers & You has been preparing national and international candidates for highend tests viz. MBA, MCA, GRE, GMAT and SAT since 1998.
Visit www.TCYonline.com for FREE online MCA entrance tests and quizzes on variety of topics viz. Business Awareness, puzzles and English.
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