India's Maharashtra state has launched a digital identity project with Microsoft India that aims to bring together welfare schemes linked to biometric ID numbers.Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced the project after meeting with Microsoft (India) chairman Bhaskar Pramanik.The scheme will create digital identities for the state's citizens by linking with the biometric-backed Aadhaar card. The unique ID has been used to validate identities for flahship welfare programmes such as Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and new pension provisions.All non-confidential data of the citizens will be digitised and stored in cloud computing facilities provided by Microsoft. "The requirement of multiple identity cards will vanish due to this. It will work like a digital locker where all documents right from ration card to degree certificates will be available at one click," said Fadnavis.Currently the New Delhi-based Unique Identification Authority of India stores the facial, iris and fingerprint data gathered as part of the Aadhaar ID project.An initial pilot will be rolled out in a village with more than 500 families. After evaluation, the scheme may be expanded to urban areas.As of this week, about 745.6 million people, or 61 per cent of India's 1.2 billion population, had been allotted Aadhaar numbers. The government's target is to enrol everyone for the scheme by June. In 15 states, the percentage of enrolment is over 90 per cent. Some 140 million bank accounts have also been linked with Aadhaar numbers.