Pankhudi Khandelwal is a first-year researcher who joined the Law Department thanks to the ASPIRE programme, a scholarship that allows candidates from underrepresented groups to pursue a PhD at the EUI. Pankhudi's academic journey began with her undergraduate studies at the National Law Institute University in Bhopal, India. Following her undergraduate degree, she ventured into the corporate world working for a year at a leading corporate law firm in India. She then pursued a Master degree in Competition, Innovation, and Trade Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. For the following three years, she worked as an Assistant Professor at O. P. Jindal Global University in India. During her time there, she balanced both teaching and research responsibilities. She was involved in research relating to competition law and regulation, competition law in digital markets and the interface between competition law and data protection.
What prompted Pankhudi to choose the field of law was a realisation of its diverse opportunities, both in the private and public sectors. Having spent three years in academia, Pankhudi was clear about her ambition to undertake doctoral studies. The ASPIRE programme offered by the Law Department caught her attention, given its specific focus on law and technology— a field she is deeply passionate about. Pankhudi's admiration for the work of EUI Law Professor, Nicolas Petit, further solidified her decision, and the opportunity to have him as her supervisor is a dream come true for her.
Pankhudi's research focuses on interoperability in digital markets. It is an interdisciplinary study between law and technology that aims to propose an interoperability model for digital markets based on existing models in other sectors, such as fintech and open banking. She was inspired to pursue this topic while conducting her research on new tools to regulate digital markets. She came across interoperability obligations imposed on big tech firms in the European Union. Further investigating the topics, Pankhudi found out that there is a significant gap in the literature concerning the costs and benefits of various interoperability models and the associated legal and institutional frameworks. By proposing an implementable interoperability framework, her work aims to make a significant contribution to the existing literature. The thesis holds the potential to reshape economic dynamics by shifting power from major tech corporations to smaller businesses and offering consumers more choices among online platforms.
Pankhudi's long-term career goals are deeply rooted in academia. She views her pursuit of a PhD at EUI as the natural progression of her academic journey. She is confident that her time at the EUI will provide the perfect environment to refine her research skills and continue contributing to the field of competition law. Outside of her academic pursuits, Pankhudi enjoys yoga, swimming, cooking, and travelling.
We warmly welcome Pankhudi, and we eagerly look forward to the contribution her innovative research will bring to the field of competition law.