As a Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Scholar, Payaswini completed her MPhil in Politics (Political Theory) at the University of Oxford in 2017. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi.
After graduating from Oxford, she worked with Friends of Women’s World Banking India as a Project Officer, where she was involved in several projects relating to sustainable agriculture, women’s financial inclusion, and enterprise development in rural areas for women’s economic empowerment.
She is currently working as an Associate Project Director at the University of Pennsylvania Centre for Advanced Studies in India. Her role there involves research on agricultural markets in 3 Indian states with the objective of understanding their dynamism, complexity, and impact on small farmers’ incomes. She also remains keen to pursue her passion for political theory by studying the relationship of the state with the farmer, the nature of the social contract, and how it manifests in welfare and development policies directed towards agrarian communities.The broader focus of her work as a development practitioner is sustainable agriculture, rural development and rural livelihoods, with an emphasis on engaging with communities at the grassroots level through her work.