The simplest form of a computer, believe me, is a switch, a piece of conducting wire, and an electric bulb, connected to a power source. Because the switch controls the illumination of the bulb; as the keyboard controls the operation of the computer. A computer is generally defined as a device that aids in computing mathematically calculable problems (to compute is to solve).
Computers can be made of anything that has a capability to switch to different states. Well, for example, the earliest computer was a mechanical device called the ‘Abacus’ (in China), which was made of a wooden frame with rods passing through beads. The beads were slid back and forth to represent units of hundreds, thousands, etc., for large calculations, and those of 1/10 and 1/100 for fractional calculations. It is safe to classify the Abacus and the following inventions - up to 1945 - as ‘mechanical’ computers. These machines were only limited by their speed of switching between different states. Mechanical parts take a lot of time to move! After this era came a very short phase of electro-mechanical computers, with magnetic forces employed for the task of switching.
The electro-mechanical computers gave scientists their trump card. In successive decades starting from 1945, the electrons conquered the computer world. First the vacuum tubes, then the invention of the transistor by William Shockley and his team at Bell Labs (a transistor is a switch that can switch 4,000,000,000 times per second, and counting... Why? Because it is made up off semi-conducting material, fused together, which switches as fast as an electron travels a nanometer), then the integrated circuit, then the large scale integration,... - the commas won’t end if this article is to stand the test of time.
So what does the study of computers really entail? It should, by common sense, start at the study of the physics of electrons, followed by analog electronic components, then digital, and so on. Along with these subjects, there comes the study of the mathematical principles behind them. And then you can go ahead with computer organization, microprocessors and algorithms; and then software engineering and application development. What I want to put forward is that a computer can be studied at so many different levels that this very field was broken down/branched off into many separate fields. Examples include Computer Engineering, Information Science, Computer Application (which brings us to our topic of Bachelor’s), to name a few.
A quick comparison between computer engineering and BCA is now due, I assume. Starting at the most prominent difference, BCA covers most of, not all the study pertaining to software, and almost nothing about hardware in three years. Engineering, however, covers almost all of software and almost all of hardware, with duration of four years. Unless an employer doesn’t wish to produce innovative and break-through software, a Bachelor of Computer Application is ‘not-ready-but-trainable’ to him.
Regarding the difference in course duration and the corresponding amount of syllabus, given that today more students are graduating from the IT discipline than the requirement of fresh recruits to the IT industry, choosing engineering over BCA would be beneficial. Coping with the high level of mathematics taught in the course of engineering remains one of the issues facing some students. It would not be entirely appropriate to say that BCA would not fetch you any significant proficiency. Some top institutes in India providing the BCA degree also manage to bag on campus placements.
The coursework for a standard BCA degree includes:
Fundamentals of a computer,
A small introduction to mathematics for computer science,
C/C++ and JAVA programming languages,
Data structures and a very small number of useful, commonplace algorithms,
System analytics and design,
Numerical techniques for computer science,
and a few projects.
There are many universities and colleges offering BCA degrees in India. Search the internet to rank the top 10 or so and apply. Good luck!