India and UAE on Thursday discussed the threats posed by the Islamic State (IS), increasing radicalisation of young people, and the need for a joint effort to counter terrorism during wide-ranging talks focusing on deepening security cooperation and expanding bilateral trade. 

    New Delhi also made a strong case for action on pending extradition requests for certain individuals wanted in India. The discussions took place at a ministerial commission meeting, held barely a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the first by an Indian PM in 34 years. 

    External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-chaired the meeting.

    The two sides signed MOUs on cooperation in several areas, including higher education and scientific research, tourism, cooperation between the respective telecom regulatory authorities, and also between the FICCI and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

    A government statement said the two sides agreed to increase bilateral trade by 60% over the next five years and also to encourage the UAE’s investment institutions to raise their stake in India, with an aim of reaching a target of US$ 75 billion.

    The visiting UAE minister also called on Modi and held meetings with defence minister and railways minister before attending a dinner hosted by national security adviser Ajit Doval. PM Modi recalled his successful visit to the UAE and said it had “charted a new course” in bilateral relations that would not only be beneficial for the two countries but also contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia and beyond.

Kapil is India's best stand-up comedian: Manish Paul

Reel and real life go hand-in-hand for host and now actor Manish Paul. Not only is his character named after his actual nick name, Mickey, the ‘Virus’ also does justice to Manish’s ‘colours’ as a youngster.

Directed by Saurabh Verma, Manish Paul’s debut film, Mickey Virus, hits the screens on October 25, and shows Manish’s character, Mickey, as a computer geek, brought up in a Punjabi family in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar. 

In Chandigarh on Tuesday, Manish talks about his role: “Mickey is your typical boy next-door, a proper vella in life who runs his mother’s grocery store by the day and creates ‘viruses’ for anti-virus companies by night. I can relate to the character because before I landed in Mumbai, my day used to commence with purchasing bread and butter from a grocery store, and yes, I used to hack my friends’ e-mail IDs to be able to read their girlfriends’ mails. But, I must clarify that we are not promoting hacking through the film. In fact, in the movie, Mickey gets into trouble because of his hacking ways.”

(Photo: Gurminder Singh/HT)

As he talks about his typical Delhi boy character, we can’t help but find a striking similarity with Ayushmann’s Vicky (from 2012 film Vicky Donor) and Manish’s Mickey. “The only similarity is the rhyming names — Mickey and Vicky. And yes, we both play the role of a Delhi boy.

In real life, however, we both started off as hosts before entering the film industry,” explains Manish. 

Elaborating on his transition from an RJ and VJ to a host, having shared the stage with Shah Rukh Khan, Salman and Aamir, amongst others, Manish says, “I reached Mumbai with just one suitcase and no filmy background. I got work because of my hard work and thus paved my own way. Television has given me a lot — I was Mr Nobody before TV happened. Initially, I got many offers for cameos on TV but I didn’t lose sight of my aim — to be an anchor.”

Ask him about his favourite host and he names his Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa (season 6) co-host, Kapil Sharma. “I loved hosting the show with him. Being Punjabis, our comic timing and style clicked. According to me, Kapil is the best Indian stand-up comedian. I am looking forward to being a part of Comedy Nights with Kapil soon,” says he, adding that he would next be seen in the sequel to
Tere Bin Laden.


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