The Council Secretariat closely monitors the implementation of the recommendations made by the Inter-State Council, and places the Action Taken Report before the Standing Committee/Council for Consideration.
The Council Secretariat has commissioned a number of studies on public policy and governance issues;
Compensation to resource bearing States in respect of minerals including coal, hydropower and petroleum and natural gas;
Sub National Governance;
Creation of a common India market on agricultural goods and commodities;
National Policy for Urban Street Vendors.
The Council Secretariat has also taken steps in consultation with the Union Ministries/Departments and the State Governments to generate new issues for consideration of the Council. Inter-State Council Secretariat had entered into a Framework Agreement with the Forum of Federations, Canada for an international partnership with the Forum in improving governance and enhancing democracy by promoting dialogue on the practices, principles and possibilities of federalism. This agreement has been renewed for the next three years – 2008 to 2011.
The proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Federalism, which was co-hosted by the Inter-State Council Secretariat with the Forum of Federations, Canada, in Delhi in November, 2007 have been published in five volumes, namely Building on and accommodating diversities, Emerging issues in fiscal federalism, Interaction in federal systems, Local government in federal systems and Policy issues in federalism – international perspectives. An interaction on inter-governmental relations and role and activities of the Inter-State Council was held with a Nepalese delegation comprising of four members of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal in September, 2008. Inter-State Council Secretariat has also organized in collaboration with the Forum of Federations a country round table on inter-governmental relationship Delhi on January 16, 2009. ISCS is providing Secretarial support to the Commission on Centre-State Relations.
The Commission was constituted in pursuance of the commitment made by the Government of India under its Common Minimum Programme (CMP) considering the vast changes that have taken place in the society and economy of the country in the two decades intervening between the submission of the Report by the Sarkaria Commission till date. The Chairman and Members were appointed on April 27, 2007. Justice (retd.) Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court of India was appointed as Chairperson, and Shri Dhirendra Singh, former Secretary to the Govt. of India, Shri Vinod Kumar Duggal, former Secretary to the Govt. of India and Dr. N.R. Madhava Menon, former Director, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal and .National Law School of India, Bangalore were appointed as Members. Shri Vijay Shanker, IPS (retd.) has been appointed as a Member of the Commission on 17.10.2008.The term of the Commission has been extended upon 31.03.2010.